The Ottawa Senators have agreed to a two-year contract extension with goaltender Anders Nilsson, with a cap hit of $2.6 million. Originally acquired from the Vancouver Canucks in January in a trade involving Tom Pyatt and Mike McKenna, Nilsson will serve as Ottawa’s second goalie for the foreseeable future.
News Release: #Sens re-sign goaltender Anders Nilsson to a two-year contract: https://t.co/L4EEzXUJm9— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) May 29, 2019
Communiqué : Les remettent le gardien de but Anders Nilsson sous contrat pour deux ans : https://t.co/CWoUeolDsx pic.twitter.com/xj18lp5lVR
In a season with very few bright spots, Nilsson stood out as one of them. Playing in front of the worst defensive team in the cap era, the 6’6” goalie posted a 91.4% save percentage in 24 games. A strong LGBTQ+ advocate, he quickly cemented himself as a fan-favourite who engaged himself with the local community.
With Craig Anderson having recently turned 38 years old and posting decreasing results, Nilsson took on the role as Ottawa’s 1B goalie. Expect that to be his role next season, with the potential to take over as the full-time starter.
The biggest concern with Nilsson’s contract is how it will affect the rest of the organization’s depth chart. Marcus Hogberg is waiting in the wings after a stellar season in Belleville, and at 24, he’s considered moving back to Sweden if he can’t get NHL time (he’s an RFA this summer and could potentially not be qualified).
On top of Hogberg, the Belleville Senators will have to find time for both Filip Gustavsson and Joey Daccord, each a top prospect in their own right. Mike Condon is also under contract for another season, and who knows where he’ll fit in.
Nilsson’s contract carries a cap hit of $2.6 million, paying him $2.8 million next season and $2.4 million in 2020-21. He’ll be a UFA on July 1st 2021, at which time he’ll be 31 years old.
As for Ottawa’s cap situation, they’re currently projected to spend around $47.9 million next season, with a roster of 15 players. They still have some re-signing to do, although that still leaves them at least $10.9 million below the salary cap floor, before factoring in next season’s cap rise.
Welcome back to Ottawa, Anders Nilsson!