For a team with largely inexperienced options in net, the Washington Capitals made a move Sunday to amend that, signing 39-year-old netminder Craig Anderson to a professional tryout agreement.
In a career spanning nearly two decades, Anderson has played for four teams, including the Chicago Blackhawks, Colorado Avalanche and Florida Panthers. He most recently spent 10 seasons with the Ottawa Senators, where he featured in 34 games last season, allowing 3.25 goals per game and stopping shots at a 90.2 percent rate.
Anderson has started 633 games over his career, with a career 2.84 goals against average and a 91.3 save percentage.
Last week, goalkeeper Henrik Lundqvist — who joined the Capitals as a free agent this season — announced he wouldn’t play because of a heart condition. That left second-year NHL netminder Ilya Samsonov as the clear-cut starter, with Vitek Vanecek and Pheonix Copley as his backups.
That trio had started a combined 47 NHL games in their careers, leaving room for an experienced addition.
“I think we do our due diligence on the guys that are out there,” general manager Brian MacLellan said last week. “If we see somebody that fits, that has the experience, that’s going to accept a certain role, we’re open to adding a guy, too. We’re open-minded, but we also like where we’re at.”
It’s unclear the extent of Anderson’s role. He’ll join the team for training camp, which opens Jan. 3. Then Washington opens the 2021 season Jan. 14 at the Buffalo Sabres. Should Anderson impress during camp, his professional tryout agreement can lead to a full contract with the Capitals.