The Colorado Avalanche have made their first big move before the NHL Trade Deadline, trading former incumbent goaltender Craig Anderson to the Ottawa Senators for goaltender Brian Elliott.
Anderson, who turns 30 in May, was signed to a two year contract before the 2009-2010 season and helped carry the young Avalanche team to a surprising playoff run. He was dominant in the first round of the playoffs against the San Jose Sharks, including an NHL record 51 saves in a 1-0 overtime shutout victory in Game 3 of that series. Since then, however, Anderson's star has fallen. He has struggled with injuries and inconsistent play this season, and has been benched in favor of Peter Budaj in the midst of Colorado's recent slide.
Ottawa Senators goaltender Brian Elliott, 26, has played in 43 games this season for Ottawa. He has a 3.19 GAA and a .894 SV% with the Senators this year, both higher than his career numbers.
While Anderson is an unrestricted free agent after this season and will likely find another job elsewhere, Elliott is a restricted free agent. Colorado has first option of re-signing him after the season is over, making him the favorite for the backup goalie position entering next season.