Toronto Maple Leafs goalie, Frederik Andersen is up for a new contract at the end of this season and it has a lot of fans wondering what they should do with him.
At this point, Andersen’s long-term decline seems apparent and many fans are calling for a replacement. Frederik Andersen was among the best goalies in the NHL when he first came to the Toronto Maple Leafs back in the 2016 off-season where he was sent here in a trade from Anaheim in exchange for two draft picks.
His first three seasons in Toronto saw him put up a Vezina-type record, along with his save percentage that was just below .920 on the season. The only thing that wasn’t the greatest was his goals-against average as he’s averaged 2.77 or more in every season in Toronto.
Toronto Maple Leafs and Freddie Andersen
Recently, Andersen’s save percentage has declined by a large amount, and now his numbers this season are even worse than the year prior.
2020-21 stats – 21 GP – 13 W – 7 L – 2 OTL – 2.86 GAA – .900 SV%
If you take a look at the numbers above, you would think that’s either a starting goalie on a bottom-tier team in the league or a backup goalie in the league. Well, that’s a starting goalie’s numbers on arguably the best team in the NHL and the best in their division.
It hasn’t been the smoothest of rides for Frederik Andersen so far this season as he and the Toronto Maple Leafs find themselves in a slump at the moment losing five out of their last six games. (Stats from Hockey-Reference.com)
The all-important question that looms over the Maple Leafs this upcoming off-season, is if they should bring back and re-sign Frederik Andersen.
Despite his last two rocky seasons as the goalie here in Toronto, he along with another teammate who is up for a contract at the end of the season have both been important pieces to the team.
This off-season the Toronto Maple Leafs are faced with the task of trying to re-sign both Zach Hyman and Frederik Andersen to contracts. While both players have been huge parts of the team, they are both heading into their 30s, making the prospect of long-term deals questionable.
If it was up to me to decide who to bring back this off-season between Hyman or Andersen, I’m one hundred percent re-signing Hyman and more than likely letting Andersen walk.
Right now Andersen is in the last year of his five-year, $25M contract which is carrying an AAV of $5M per season, and should only be re-signed if he’s willing to take a short-term deal with a pay cut.
Possible goalie replacements
So as we know Frederik Andersen is set to become a UFA this off-season, so let’s take a look at the other top UFA goalies for this off-season.
Here are the top ten goalies set to become a UFA once the season ends…
Tuukka Rask (BOS), Pekka Rinne (NSH), Frederik Andersen (TOR) , Devan Dubnyk (SJ) , Antti Raanta (ARI), James Reimer (CAR), Philip Grubauer (COL), Petr Mrazek (CAR), Jonathan Bernier (DET), and David Rittich (CGY)
The only ones I would consider signing would be Philip Grubauer and Petr Mrazek. The only thing wrong with that is they both play on good teams and they’re both currently playing lights out for their respected teams, so I would assume Colorado and Carolina would want to likely re-sign them.
Other goalies who are set to become UFA’s this off-season that aren’t in the top ten but I wouldn’t mind seeing in Toronto as part of a 1A/1B tandem with Jack Campbell is Linus Ullmark, Laurent Brossoit, and even Chris Driedger.
The main point here is that even though Andersen doesn’t seem as good as he used to be, replacing him won’t be simple. There isn’t much in the free-agent market and so a trade would most likely be in order. Given the relative unpredictability of NHL goalies, it might be best to stick with what they have, or give Jack Campbell a try.