Yesterday, my esteemed colleague Sheer_Craziness argued that the Ottawa Senators shouldn't trade Craig Anderson. The crux of his argument is as follows:
- Any trade would make the Senators worse in the short term, especially considering there is no obvious back-up goalie for Lehner should he become the starter
- Any trade would produce mediocre returns that don't justify the trading of a goalie
- Less important but still a caveat: Craig Anderson's going pretty well at age 33 so maybe he will still be playing well enough until the end of his contract
It's hard to criticize a decision that takes the road most traveled. But it's a mistake because you're counting on Andy performing differently than the vast majority of goalies in NHL history. That's not a gamble I'd be quite so comfortable making.
- A trade directly with a team that needs a goalie. This is unlikely to yield a top four defenseman, but possible.
- More likely, trading Anderson would yield draft picks that you could then flip to acquire top four defensemen. Remember that Boychuk was traded just this summer for two seconds and a third.
- Freeing up money to spend on UFA defenseman. Again, this is unlikely given Ottawa's history and tight budget but it's possible.