Toronto makes trade to solidify net for the 2016-2017 season
The Leafs made their first trade of the 2016 offseason on Monday, trading the 30th overall pick in this week’s draft and a second round pick in 2017 for Anaheim Ducks goaltender Frederik Andersen.
The 26-year-old Andersen posted a respectable 22-9-7 record with a .919 save percentage and a 2.30 goals-against average in 43 games last season with the Ducks. These were in line with his career totals of a 2.33 GAA and .918 save percentage over 125 regular season games. Andersen was a restricted free agent at the time of the trade.
Perhaps the most striking aspect of Andersen’s game is his size. At 6’4, 220 pounds, the native of Denmark certainly fills up the cage. While Andersen played well during his time in Anaheim, his departure from California was imminent with younger counterpart John Gibson playing so strongly.
Shortly after the trade was announced, the Leafs signed Andersen to a five-year deal with an AAV of $5M. The deal makes Andersen the 18th highest paid goaltender in the league. Lamoriello and Shanahan have certainly committed to Andersen for the long term, creating many interesting storylines leading into the 2016-2017 season.
While a move in net was needed for the Buds, I find myself questioning the price paid for the promising goaltender. Andersen was an RFA at the time of the trade, and giving up two picks for the unsigned goalie was a bit of a head scratcher. Additionally, that $5M cap hit stings a little bit. I just don’t see him as that considerable of an upgrade over Bernier, with Andersen posting a .918 save percentage over the past 3 years compared to Bernier’s .915 save percentage over the same time period. With similar career stats to Bernier, one has to question the high price the Leafs paid to acquire and sign Andersen.
Based on Lou’s track record with goalies during his time in New Jersey, Leaf fans might just have to trust him on this one (Corey Schneider is certainly no slouch). The Shanaplan has been executed to perfection thus far and there is no reason to lose faith now. The cap hit might be a bit steep, but the Leafs have ensured that there will be a quality option in net playing behind the young guns next season, even if Bernier is not in the team’s plans for the future.
The deal signed today has certainly pegged Andersen as the starter for the long term. While I am unsure about the price paid, Andersen is a good goaltender with the potential to grow into a great one. As long as he keeps close to his career numbers, works his tail off, and has a limited understanding of who Nelson Mandela is, I am sure Frederik Andersen will do just fine as the next starter of the Toronto Maple Leafs.