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Senators ink G Anderson to four-year contract extension

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TSN.ca Staff
3/21/2011 11:02:37 PM
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The Ottawa Senators signed goaltender Craig Anderson to a four-year contract extension on Monday.

The native of Park Ridge, IL, will earn $12.75 million over the course of his contract, averaging $3.187 million per season. The club takes a cap hit of $3.18 million in the deal.

"For me, it's not about the money, it's about having a good fit and finding a place where I'm going to be happy, where players are treated with respect and the organization communicates with their players," Anderson said. "And from Day 1, I've had great talks with the coaching staff, the goalie coach, the general manager, they've all gone out of their way to make me feel like I'm a part of the team. You can't put a price tag on that."

Due to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, Anderson is earning $2.125 million this season.

"Goaltending is and will be one of the important building blocks consistent with our plan to improve the team moving forward," said general manager Bryan Murray. "Craig has provided a level of confidence to this team and this organization that was lacking early in the season, and we feel he is the type of person and player that will be a big part of our organization's future success."

Anderson is 6-4 since joining the Senators in a trade that saw Brian Elliott sent to the Colorado Avalanche, and has a 2.11 goals-against average and .938 save percentage since coming to Ottawa. Anderson, who twice took leaves of absence from the Avs this season, was 13-15-3 with a 3.28 GAA in 33 games with Colorado prior to the deal.

"(Anderson) has come in and played great for us," veteran centre Jason Spezza said. "We feel like we can be a good club next year again - that's obviously the goal -  but just to get a guy like him locked up and not letting him go to free agency is a big move for the franchise."

The 29-year-old made his Senators debut on Feb. 19 against the Toronto Maple Leafs, making 47 saves to earning a shutout victory to become only the second Senators' goaltender since Patrick Lalime to record a shutout in his debut.

"I just want to thank the fans for being very supportive," said Anderson. "The day I showed up here, they put my face on the jumbotron and the ovation I got just put a smile on my face and I know right from the get-go that I knew I'd be happy here."

The eight-year veteran has played 224 regular-season games, earning 93 wins, 87 losses, 19 overtime losses and 14 in shootouts, along with a 2.81 career goals-against average and.912 save percentage.

Drafted in the thirdround (73rd overall) in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft, Anderson has played with the Chicago Blackhawks, Florida Panthers and last two seasons with the Avalanche.

Craig Anderson  (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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