The Carolina Hurricanes are linked to Fredrick Anderson in latest rumors.
The latest offseason trade rumor puts Leaf’s netminder Frederik Andersen in Carolina. Is this a valuable trade for the Hurricanes?
The NHL offseason brings trades and rumors of trades, and the latest rumor to circulate Carolina is that they are interested in the Toronto Maple Leaf’s goaltender Frederik Andersen. Andersen has spent the last four years in Toronto and accumulated a win-loss ratio of 136 wins to 66 losses, with a save percentage of .916.
Caniacs may remember that there is a bit of history between the Hurricanes and Frederik Andersen. He was drafted by Carolina as their 8th pick in the 2010 draft. However, Andersen chose to not join the team and instead signed to the Anaheim Ducks.
While I firmly believe that the Hurricanes’ 2020 playoff appearance highlighted the strength of their goalie duo, let’s break down this trade and look at whether the Hurricanes could benefit from a potential deal.
A quick browse of Andersen’s highlights from the past few years shows a netminder that has a confident glove hand and excellent mobility. One save in particular stands out to me from a 2018 contest against the Nashville Predators in which Andersen moves from left to right to stop a push from behind the net.
As far as statistics on paper, a few areas stand out to me. First, Anderson has played an average of 61 regular-season games, as opposed to Mrazek’s 40, this no doubt due to Brind’Amours relatively even split of stars for Mrazek and Reimer. Andersen’s average save percentage has not dipped below .909 in his four years in Toronto.
Andersen has never made it past round one of the playoffs with the Toronto Maple Leafs. This year, the Maple Leafs lost the qualifying round series against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Despite this, his numbers this year were excellent with a .936 save percentage.
All in all, Andersen’s record shows that he is a solid goaltender that has the ability to make quality saves in high-risk situations. My biggest issue with a potential Andersen deal is not with Andersen himself, but with the fact that it would most likely be an unnecessary and risky deal.
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First, I believe that Petr Mrazek and James Reimer put together outstanding performances in this year’s playoffs. I am confident in saying that without this duo, Carolina would have lost the Boston series in four games. Carolina’s goaltending wasn’t the weak link in the playoffs, it was in my opinion the lack of scoring depth that sent Carolina home early.
Once Mrazek and Reimer’s contracts expire next year, I am confident that Anton Forsberg or Alex Nedeljkovic (if not both) will be the starters in net for Carolina. While they will need time and experience to rise to the level of an elite goalie, I believe that this would be a better investment than in a veteran who may only have a handful of years left to play.
Second, both Head Coach Rod Brind’Amour and General Manager Don Waddell have made it clear that they don’t anticipate any vast lineup changes in the offseason. Waddell said specifically during the end of season press conference “we’re not out here saying we have to make wholesale changes to our lineup”.
Now understanding that this is subject to change at any minute, I don’t think that the goaltending position would be the position the organization would target that is in need of change. Also, the rumor states that Toronto would need a sizeable deal in order to make the change. I just don’t see Carolina in a position to trade players for this position.
Even though I have doubts a trade would occur and I certainly don’t think it is necessary, the Hurricanes could do much worse than acquiring Andersen. Hopefully, this story will develop more over the coming weeks and we’ll see some offseason movement from the Hurricanes.