Friday, February 18, 2011

Anderson for Elliot

2011 Season2011Remaining
To Ottawa
PositionAgeMINWSOPCap HitYearsCap Hit
Craig AndersonGoalie291,87313027$1.8 million0UFA
To Colorado
PositionAgeMINWSOPCap HitYearsCap Hit
Brian ElliotGoalie252,29213332$850,0000RFA

The Avalanche and Senators have made a goalie swap on Friday, which sends both team's number one goalies in opposite directions. The Senators will gain a little bit more flexibility during the Summer with the soon-to-be unrestricted free agent in Craig Anderson, while the Avalanche will work with Brian Elliot, who has been run out of town after some inconsistent performances in Ottawa.

The Senators are in a full rebuild mode and looking at the UFA status of Anderson will give the team plenty of flexibility to either give a big goalie a number that is better suited to their needs or move on and give Robin Lehner the number one job in the 2012 season, which is likely to be another nightmare, barring a miracle-laden set of moves in the off-season.  Either way, the Senators rebuilding plans are working well with this move.

The Avalanche are in a terrible spiral in the Western Conference standings and a shake up was likely necessary, one way or another.  The addition of Elliot will give them a guy who has played quite a few minutes already in the 2011 season, a bit more than Anderson, and does have a some upside as a number one goalie, but his consistency will be tested again.  Elliot is scheduled to become a restricted free agent this Summer and will get to audition with the Avs for the stretch run.  The Avalanche are 11 points out of a playoff spot with too many teams to climb over, so it should be a pressure-less audition.

Salary CapThe cap hits are going to be moot in this deal.  The Senators have been selling off assets and making all kinds of space, so taking on the run off of Anderson's deal should be no problem for the team, while the Avalanche have cut costs to make this deal happen, which is even better.  Neither player has cap figures for the 2012 season, so there is lots of flexibility there.

ImplicationsTwo completely different teams are involved in this straight swap in the draft, as 7th place Benson G. sees one of his starters move from West to East, while 20th place Dale C. sees one of his goalies go East to West.  Benson has been in need of something to change on his team, but Anderson going to Ottawa is likely not going to help much.  Dale is in the basement, so any change will be a good change, trying to move up past Derek W. in the standings.  I'm not too sure that this trade will have a positive effect on either team.

Well, I won't lie, I was kind of surprised to see the Avalanche give up on Anderson today, but they did manage to get themselves a goaltender that could take some minutes in the starting position.  The Senators do get a pretty big goalie for the rest of the year and he may impress enough to be a part of the rebuilding phase for the team.  If Elliot can find a stride in Denver, he could be a good pick-up, since the Avalanche could find themselves in an upswing at the start of the 2012 season.

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