American ice hockey goalie Craig Anderson signed a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday. The 41-year-old was 17-12-2 with a 3.12 goals-against average and .897 save percentage in 31 games this National Hockey League (NHL) season.
Anderson, who could have become an unrestricted free agent on July 13, is 24-23 with a 2.36 GAA, .929 save percentage and four shutouts in 48 Stanley Cup Playoff games (47 starts).
“I have a lot of respect for Craig … I think he had a big influence in our locker room in terms of being a player that’s done a lot in this league, but also being a player that gets up every day and works to get better and takes care of himself,” Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams said, as quoted by NHL.com. “You look at our young team but especially our young ‘D’ corps, I do think it’s very important to have someone that there’s some stability in terms of his presence.”
“Craig hasn’t enjoyed himself more than last year”
Selected by the Chicago Blackhawks in the third round (No. 73) of the 2001 NHL Draft, the Illinois native Anderson is 308-264-69 with two ties, a 2.85 GAA, .912 save percentage and 42 shutouts in 683 regular-season games. Apart from the Sabres, he has been associated with the likes of the Washington Capitals, Ottawa Senators, Colorado Avalanche, Florida Panthers and Blackhawks.
“It says a lot about Craig and his family and also how he feels about the coaching staff, the players, the organization because, you know, I don’t know if this time last year if he thought maybe this could be one year,” Adams said. “He actually even said to me, ‘In all my years of playing, I don’t know if I’ve enjoyed myself more than I did last year.’ So, yeah, we’re excited.”