NHL Notebook: Craig Anderson inks one-day retirement deal with Senators, assumes hockey liaison role with Sabres and a look at three young defencemen on the rise
Photo credit:Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports
1 month ago
The Ottawa Senators are set to honour their longtime former goaltender, Craig Anderson, as he officially retires from professional hockey.
Anderson, aged 42, will sign a one-day contract with the Senators to retire as a team member where he made a significant impact during his career. This gesture is a tribute to his decade-long association with the franchise from 2011 to 2020.
During his time with the Senators, Anderson achieved several notable accomplishments, including setting franchise records for the lowest goals-against average (1.69) and the highest save percentage (.941) in a single season during the 2012-13 campaign. He left the Senators in 2020 as the all-time leader in multiple goaltending categories, such as games played, wins, saves, and assists, solidifying his legacy with the team.
Additionally, Anderson will take on a part-time role with the Buffalo Sabres as a hockey liaison, marking a new chapter in his post-playing career. It’s fitting that Anderson spent the final two seasons of his NHL career with the Sabres, with his last game taking place against the Senators in an overtime win in April 2023.
The Senators plan to pay tribute to Anderson during their upcoming game against the Buffalo Sabres on October 24, celebrating his contributions to the team and the sport. Anderson’s career began with the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2002-03 season, and he went on to have a successful journey through several NHL teams, including the Florida Panthers, Colorado Avalanche, and Washington Capitals. Throughout his career, he garnered a record of 319 wins, 43 shutouts, and a .912 save percentage in 709 regular-season games, and he further impressed with a 24-23 record and a .929 save percentage in 48 playoff contests.
Anderson’s retirement and the opportunity to return to the Senators for a day will undoubtedly be a heartwarming moment for fans and a well-deserved recognition of his impact on the team and the league.
Three young defencemen on the rise
As the 2023-24 NHL regular season gets underway, the league is witnessing the emergence of promising young talents and the evolution of less-recognized players. This piece focuses on three young defensemen who are flourishing with increased responsibilities early in the season.
Sean Durzi (Arizona Coyotes): Sean Durzi, acquired by the Arizona Coyotes from the Los Angeles Kings in June, is making a significant impact. He’s averaging an impressive 25 minutes of ice time in his first three games with the Coyotes, contributing to both power plays and penalty kills. Though not as defensively dominant as some of his peers, Durzi possesses the skills to become a 50-point player under the right circumstances. As the de facto No. 1 defenseman for the Coyotes, he’s filled the role previously held by Jakob Chychrun. Durzi leads the team in shot attempts and is the top defender in generating scoring chances.
Nicolas Hague (Vegas Golden Knights): Hague, in his fifth NHL season, is taking on more responsibility with the Vegas Golden Knights due to injuries to key players. His average ice time has increased to over 21 minutes per game, and he’s already contributed three points. Hague has positively impacted play at both ends of the ice and boasts impressive possession statistics. With Vegas needing young defenders to step up, Hague is being deployed as a top-four defenseman, a role he’s handling effectively.
Brock Faber (Minnesota Wild): Brock Faber, acquired in a trade with the Los Angeles Kings, has quickly risen to prominence in the Minnesota Wild’s defensive lineup. Despite being just 21 years old, he’s averaging over 23 minutes of ice time per game, leading his team. Faber has thrived even when facing the toughest competition, showing remarkable poise for a rookie. His impressive play suggests he could contend for the Calder Trophy, given his impact on the Wild’s performance.
These young defensemen are seizing the opportunity for increased responsibility and making significant contributions early in the 2023-24 NHL season.
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