The Toronto Maple Leafs acquired goaltender Frederik Andersen from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for the 30th pick in the 2016 National Hockey League Draft and a second round pick in the 2017.
After acquiring Andersen, the Maple Leafs signed him to a five-year deal. Andersen was set to become a restricted free agent on July 1st had Toronto not inked him to the extension.
General manager Lou Lamoriello said, “He had one more year left and he was a restricted free agent. One of two things could have transpired; he could go to arbitration or we could have played out his qualifying offer, but when you are at his age, in five years, we are very comfortable with the extension.”
He added, “I think he has to know that we feel he is our number one goaltender and that the support is there, the confidence is there and the commitment is there.”
Andersen went 22-9-7 with a 2.30 goals against average and .919 save percentage, in 43 games for the Ducks this past season. He started 37 of those games. Along with John Gibson, he won a share of the William Jennings Trophy for fewest goals in the NHL during the 2015-2016 season.
The Maple Leafs allowed the seventh most goals in the league during the past season, with netminders Jonathan Bernier going 12-21-3 with a 2.88 GAA and .908 save percent in 38 games for Toronto. Backup goalie, Garrett Sparks went 6-9-1 in 17 games.
The Maple Leafs traded James Reimer to the San Jose Sharks, prior to the trade deadline. Reimer went 11-12-7 in 32 games.
About the possibility on becoming the number one goalie, Andersen said, “I have not given that much thought. I am just proud to be a Maple Leaf. I have to keep working hard to be in the net. That is my approach. Nothing is given to you.”
The Maple Leafs finished the season with the worst record in the NHL, and won the draft lottery and the number pick at the NHL Entry Draft at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo, New York on June 24th.
Andersen said, “Everyone knows this is a young team right now and more prospects are coming up that are doing well. I know how hard they work for the games we played against them this season. I think they were better than the standings were showing.”
In 125 career regular games with the Ducks, Andersen has a 77-26-12 record with a 2.33 GAA and .918 save percentage. In 28 playoff games he has gone, 17-9 with a 2.34 GAA and .916 save percentage.
Lamoriello added, “I love his competitiveness. If you look at his playoff history, he has always played well in the playoffs and he gives us size which today is a necessity the way the game is played, but his athleticism is exceptional.”
He also said, “We you get a goaltender of this caliber, with the experience he has had and the success. I feel I have had the good fortune to have had similar goaltenders in the past, that acquiring him was the most important thing; the price was secondary.”
Gibson has three years left on his contract with the Ducks and will now become the number one goaltender in Anaheim. The trade of Andersen gives the Ducks the number 24 and the 30 pick in the first round of the 2016 NHL Draft.
Ducks general manager, Bob Murray said, “The picks add in value as you accrue them. I have no idea what is out there. I have not thought about what to do in the market. There are some situations that we have to address on this team. We will try to address them. This was a situation that just had to happen at this point in time. There was no avoiding it.”
Murray did say that he would pursue a backup over the next few weeks, and he would prefer one that has some experience. He added, “It has to be a veteran. We will have to do our homework. A veteran guy that can handle a bunch of games, we do not want to overplay John yet. He will have to play 25 to 30 games. Character and hard-working type of guy. There are a few of them out there.”