Frederik Andersen eases Toronto Maple Leafs decision
The Toronto Maple Leafs and their fans got used to Frederik Andersen in the net night after night. When there were fans in the arena, Freddie’s vocals were often repeated. He was a fan favorite for much of his five years in Toronto. That said, it will be easy for the franchise to let him go. It might sound tough given the history of the team, but last season was the worst of his career, both statistically and because he lost his starting job. These facts may lead you to believe that the asking price of the pending free agent has gone down. Wrong. The keeper is believed to want a lot of money, even an increase from last season.
A week after it was reported that Andersen and the Maple Leafs have spoken to each other, we have a better idea of ââwhat numbers they could talk about. NHL insider Darren Dreger returned to Andersen’s media availability several weeks ago, “he basically said he knew what he was worth.” Dreger told TSN 1050: âTo me that was a pretty strong indication that he thinks he’s worth at least $ 5 million, which he’s earned so far and maybe a raise. . ”
During During Andersen’s last media availability, the day after the Maple Leafs were eliminated from the playoffs, he was asked what he was looking for in free agency. Andersen replied, âTo start off, I want to talk to Kyle (Dubas) here and see where he’s at. That’s my starting point. I don’t want to look past this conversation. We have to see what’s going on. makes sense for both parties.
Reasons to let it walk
It seems painfully obvious. There is absolutely no way to sign Andersen for a contract of $ 5 million a year, or even more, makes no sense. Toronto has around $ 10 million in ceiling space and plenty of holes on the list to fill. Spending almost half on the guy who was the substitute goalie, who has been plagued with injuries and whose numbers are steadily declining is ridiculous.
Numbers don’t lie
|Seasons||Goals against average||Percent Savings (Rank)|
|2016-17||2.67 (34)||.918 (20)|
|2017-18||2.81 (33)||.918 (20)|
|2018-19||2.77 (28)||.917 (15)|
|2019-20||2.85 (34)||.909 (31)|
|2020-21||2.96 (43)||.895 (74)|
A simple examination of the most basic statistics on goalkeepers shows a steady decline in their numbers and rankings. While Andersen’s rankings aren’t elitist by any stretch of the imagination, he had a higher ranking than the numbers above show – he was the 13th highest-paid goalkeeper last season.
Jack Campbell won the net
Toronto’s net is now Jack Campbell’s to lose. The career replacement goalkeeper has stepped up over the past season and secured the starting role. Let’s not forget that Campbell set a Maple Leafs record for straight goaltender wins with 10 and set a league record with 11 straight wins at the start of the season. Campbell is entering the final year of his contract which pays a bargain price of $ 1.65 million. If he plays like he did last season, Toronto will likely want to extend his contract and he will be entitled to a big pay raise. That pay rise would be much bigger if Toronto showed it was willing to pay $ 5 million for its replacement.
Reasons to bring it back
There are several reasons, but they all seem insufficient to spend $ 5 million to retain his services. With that said, let’s take a look at some possible explanations for bringing Andersen back.
Not a lot of options
Dreger explained, “I don’t think Toronto likes the idea, other than the ceiling space that’s going to be saved, of stepping into a new year with Jack Campbell and a big question mark in the goal.” Toronto does have Micheal Hutchinson, but the organization showed they had no confidence in him when they traded to David Rittich on the deadline. Rittich is also a free agent. Other than that, the Maple Leafs have a number of goalies who develop into the minors, but no one seems ready to make a leap into the NHL.
Loyalty to players
As hard as it may be to justify saving by making three times the amount of your entry, there is a comfort level between Campbell and Andersen. Andersen also has strong ties to the stars of the team, including the face of the franchise, Auston Matthews. Matthews and Andersen were recently spotted together at a UFC event with Justin Bieber.
He can get back in shape
Andersen is determined to come back stronger and better than before. âI still have my abilities. I have more and more experience. I’ve been through a lot here, âsaid Andersen. âI’m going to talk to my coach about what we can do better. Obviously I’m very motivated considering how this year has gone.
These words can make a general manager sweat. A healthy Andersen who could rekindle the game from three seasons ago would be worth an investment. These are the types of scenarios that need to keep CEOs awake at night. What if Dubas let him go and continued to play his best hockey with another team? The fanbase would be relentless. This is a franchise that traded Tuuka Rask for Andrew Raycroft.
He owes the franchise
Dreger just doesn’t see how Toronto can make this work, “if he wants to stay with the group and is willing to take the same or less, well, maybe you can commit – maybe you can. I find it difficult that Toronto can even invest $ 5 million. I think they’ll figure out where they can save some money, and Freddie might be one of the areas to save some money. But you still have to have these discussions. So we’ll see where it goes, but I suspect Freddie is still hitting the open market. “
I have written articles defending him in the past, and while I appreciate what he has done for the organization, it is not worth re-signing him. I think he owes it to Toronto. If he really enjoys the city and the team like he claims, then he should be prepared to take a lot less. If he’s confident he’ll be back better than ever, so sign a one-year deal and prove it. If he did that, Toronto would have two goalies who would fight not only for the starting position, but also for a future contract with a raise.
Free agency begins July 28. This means, technically, that Andersen is still under contract with Toronto. However, the background image on the Maple Leafs website has already been changed. For two years, there was a picture of Andersen in full gear walking through downtown Toronto for an outdoor workout. Now that’s just a generic skyline image. It may be true; a picture is better than a thousand words.
Kevin Armstrong is an award-winning journalist with over two decades of experience. He has played on the ice for the World Junior Championships, Memorial Cups, Calder Cups and Stanley Cups. Like many Canadian children, his earliest memories include hockey. Kevin has spent countless hours in arenas across the country watching all levels of the game.