To add some humor to today's Bryan Murray press conference, he should have started things by asking the press corps whether or not they wanted the good news or bad news first.
The good news! Give us the good news!
"Pascal Leclaire will not be extended a contract offer by the Ottawa Senators."
(Upon the announcement Don Brennan and Bruce Garrioch slap some high-fives.)
Phew! And the bad?
The Senators have given Craig Anderson a 4-year contract extension worth $12.75 million dollars. (According to Capgeek, this brings Ottawa's cap situation to approximately $42 million next season.)
In his comments today, Murray said, "Obviously, we feel that he's brought stability. His position is one that we need if you're going to retool, rebuild, improve this hockey club going forward. I believe our players have played with confidence with both Curtis and him. But very definitely, Craig has stepped in and allowed our team to play hockey the way that we think we need to play going forward. With that secure building block, now we can address some other issues."
Address some issues? Maybe my friend had it right when he told me over the phone at the time that the deal was announced, "I guess the organization really wanted to put another face up on the front of SBP."
Kidding aside, Anderson is a serviceable player and given the parameters of his deal -- he earns $2.75, $3.0, $3.5, and $3.5 million in the four years of his deal -- the money involved isn't the issue here. It's the term of the contract that makes me uncomfortable. With an average cap hit of $3.1875 million per year, the monetary value of the deal isn't really that egregious. Even though the deal doesn't include a movement or trade clause -- a moral victory when looking at some of the contracts handed out by Murray in the past -- there's still a ton of inherent risk involved here. As Adrian Dater noted in a blog article for the Denver Post, Anderson allegedly turned down a 2-year $7.5 million deal last summer. And if you look at the deal that Ottawa gave him, Anderson forsaked a higher monetary figure on a short-term deal but that money is slightly outweighed by the fact that he can collect millions of guaranteed money by taking Ottawa's four year offer now. Personally, I find it worrisome that an Avalanche team that has no in-house goaltending solution and was trending downward on the date that the deal was made (February 18th) was so apprehensive about committing to a lengthy deal with him.