Seems like the general reaction to Colorado’s decision to abruptly (and, coldly, I think) cut ties with a goalie who provided them stellar value for their dollar was “buh?” In fact, on paper the move doesn’t make much sense for either team. The Senators take on salary to improve their goaltending in a lost season. Anderson comes in to a train wreck and either nothing happens and the team still stinks, or he actually improves their position in the standings and thus worsens the quality of their pick. I was having visions of Brian Burke picking up Gerber on waivers a couple seasons ago and doing nothing but losing the chance to draft Brayden Schenn.
The prevailing logic employed by the Sens’ vast number of independent bloggers seems to be that this will give the Senators a chance to get a good look at Anderson, for the purposes of perhaps offering him a contract. Why on earth any team, in an era of perpetual video analysis and scouting, would need to trade for a player in order to analyze their worth is beyond me. When you mix in Ottawa’s uncertain management scenario — someone new is going to end up calling the shots, but it’s not clear who — you have to think that this move was not made with signing Anderson in mind. After all, he’s a pending UFA. If they liked him that much, they could have taken a run at him on July 1st, and if they didn’t get him there are a number of cheap alternatives on the market for a rebuilding season.
What I find strange is that Anderson isn’t being linked in any further trade speculation. He was great filling in for Vokoun in Florida, he was great in Colorado, especially in the playoffs, and he’s had some injuries this season that have limited his effectiveness on a Colorado team falling apart. But one has to think that one of many playoff-bound teams with uncertain goaltending may be interested in Anderson’s services. What if Murray just turned ninth round pick Elliott, with no trade value whatsoever, into a player he can trade at the deadline? Not hard to imagine a team like Philly, San Jose, or perhaps Washington parting with even least a low pick for goaltending depth. For those teams, every other piece in place, and they’re contenders if Anderson plays the way he did in the playoffs last year.
Maybe Ottawa really does love Anderson so much, and wants to sign him so badly, that they’d send him a message about their commitment. Seems strange — who is Murray to send that message? But if Anderson plays his brains out in the three games Ottawa has between tonight’s game against the Leafs and the deadline, this just might be the shrewdest upgrade of assets we’ve seen from Murray.