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NAHL alum Anderson re-signs with Sabres

July 5, 2022

The Buffalo Sabres have signed goaltender and NAHL alum Craig Anderson to a one-year contract with a base salary of $1.5 million, the team announced.

Anderson, 41, joined the Sabres on a one-year contract last July. He went 17-12-2 with an .897 save percentage in 31 starts, serving as a veteran voice for a young roster and a calming presence in goal.

"He gave us a chance to win when he was in the net," Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams said.

"He played well, and he also gave our team confidence. When you look at our young D corps, just that kind of mentorship that he showed I think really went a long way for some of our defensemen."

Anderson joined Buffalo last summer with the dual objectives of serving as a mentor and earning playing time of his own. He had spent the pandemic-shortened 2020-21 season as the third-string goaltender for the Washington Capitals, appearing in four regular-season games and two more during the playoffs.

Though an injury forced him to miss nearly three months from Nov. 2 to Jan. 29, Anderson referred to his season in Buffalo as being amongst his favorite in his 19-year career. He won 11 of his final 18 starts, including his 300th NHL victory against Vegas on March 10.

Anderson said after the season that he planned to spend time with his wife, Nicholle, and their two sons before deciding on whether to continue his playing career.

"I think it's one of the most fun seasons I've ever had and one that I felt, coming to the rink, you enjoyed getting up in the morning," Anderson said. "You enjoyed going to the rink, you enjoyed sitting there and having a coffee and hanging out with the guys before practice, after practice. It didn't matter.

"Guys just wanted to be around each other and that's something special here that Kevyn and (coach) Donny (Granato), it starts from the top. They've built that and it's resonated through the group."

Anderson played in the NAHL during the 1998-99 season for the Chicago Freeze. He appeared in 14 regular season games during that season and posted an 11-3-0 record with a 2.56 goals against average and a .914 save percentage.

Following his one season in the NAHL, Anderson was selected by Calgary Flames in Round 3, #77 overall, of the 1999 NHL Entry Draft.

 
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