When the Ottawa Senators re-signed goaltender Andrew Hammond to a three-year contract extension last week, a message was sent: one of either Robin Lehner or Craig Anderson must go.
“Five or six teams have called, and there has been some discussion and there will continue to be. We’ll see what comes of it,” Senators general manager Bryan Murray told the Ottawa Sun of a potential trade that would cut the Sens’ goaltending trio down to a duo.
Beat reporter Bruce Garrioch writes that the Edmonton Oilers, Buffalo Sabres and San Jose Sharks are among teams that will be looking for a goalie this off-season, and that the Senators are seeking a top-six forward.
Although Hammond backstopped the Senators into the playoffs, when Ottawa’s season was on the line against Montreal, the team turned to veteran Anderson, whose career playoff numbers are spectacular. Despite losing to the Canadiens, Anderson posted a .972 save percentage. The 34-year-old is signed through 2017-18 at an average annual value of $4.2 million.
At 23, Lehner is much younger and cheaper (a $2.25-million cap hit through 2016-17), and thus easier to move. Plus, at the end of his current deal, Lehner will be a restricted free agent.
The Swede took a step back this season, however. His save percentage fell from .913 to .905, and a concussion limited him to just 25 appearances in 2014-15, down from 32 the year prior. Lehner hasn’t played since Feb. 16.