Sterling Off-Season Predictions: Goaltending
The Silver Seven staff take a crack at predicting the outcome of some off-season situations facing the Senators
What happens with the goaltending situation between now and the start of the season? Do Craig Anderson or Robin Lehner get traded? Does Andrew Hammond sign in Ottawa, are his rights traded at the draft or does he walk on July 1? Or do the Senators enter the season with a three-headed monster?
Richard: I think Ottawa goes into the year with all of these goalies. I feel like Ottawa has been a bit paranoid about moving goaltenders out and that’s been exacerbated since trading Bishop. Murray seems to really value having depth at that position.
I could definitely see Lehner being moved as well and I think he’s the most likely candidate if something does happen. My worry is that it’s the mostly likely move to come back and bite us and that Ottawa would be selling low given that he’s suffered a concussion and didn’t have the greatest season last year. I think for that reason, they will probably not move him in the off-season unless the offer is outstanding so that they can try to showcase him at the start of the year and make sure that O’Connor and Hammond settle in nicely.
We'll be even more likely to hold onto what they have if Hammond doesn’t resign. I honestly have no idea how likely that is to happen. Hammond had a really great run and he could easily go elsewhere if there’s a team out there that’s willing to take a chance on him for more than we’re offering, especially since he may see himself in an awkward place on the depth chart with Lehner likely still ahead of him and O’Connor right behind him.
My pick would be to trade Anderson- It gives us three young goalies with a lot of potential and it means moving a piece which is high value and quite likely to decline in the coming seasons. Given how he played in the offseason and the fact that he’s Ottawa’s most established goaltender, he’s probably the most likely option to get us a substantial and impactful return.
Ross: I think Lehner gets traded, even for a middling return. The organization has made a one-way offer to Hammond, and has said they will move a goalie to make room for him. Anderson hasn't actually started his extension yet. If Hammond signs for $1 million, that's a lot of savings to move out Lehner. I think the organization sees O'Connor as Lehner a year or two behind in his development. The thought process is probably that Anderson can be the starter for the next couple years, Hammond can be a cost-effective back-up, and O'Connor can take the reins in two years. The only way I see this not happening is if Hammond signs somewhere else in free agency.
Amelia: The Sens definitely don't enter the season with a three headed monster. I had been feeling pretty certain that Lehner was on the way out, but the longer Hammond goes unsigned, the greater the likelihood he wants to test the market (I don't blame him, he should get as much as he can). I think there's a lot of uncertainty on the $$ side of things for the team so starting to feel like Andy might be the odd man out. All of which is to say, I don't really know what's going to happen!
Michaela: The goaltending situation is the toughest and most important question for the Senators this off-season. No matter what Murray does, he will be scrutinized for it. If he trades Anderson and neither Lehner nor Hammond pan out, then he failed to predict the future of these goalies. If he trades Lehner and he lights it up elsewhere, then he (once again) let an opportunity go. If he trades Hammond, or Hammond walks, then anyone who bought a Hamburglar mask will be very upset! :)
To me, it makes the most sense to trade Anderson. His trade value is still pretty high, given the way he performed in the playoffs. He is injury prone, which might hurt his value, but I still think we could get a decent return for him. However, all signs are pointing to Lehner getting traded as he is in higher demand. If this happens, I fear another Bishop situation.
Adnan: Andrew Hammond will re-sign and Craig Anderson will be traded. It will be hard to trade Lehner with his concussion, on the other hand it will be hard to go in with Lehner and Hammond as your goalie but...that's what I am guessing anyway.
Ary: Although my preference is an Anderson - Lehner tandem with Hammond walking, I think he re-signs and Lehner is traded. Murray loves having an experienced number one in the fold, although I’m sure he’s unhappy with Anderson’s freak injuries and the time it takes for him to recover, Anderson’s playoff performance is something the team will love.
B_T: I don't think Anderson or Lehner go anywhere this off-season, so it's either the three headed monster or Hammond decides to test the waters on July first. Of those two, I give the edge to Hammond going elsewhere.
Which goaltenders will Ottawa enter the 2015-16 regular season with?