Ducks trade G Andersen to Maple Leafs for 2 draft picks
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) The Anaheim Ducks broke up their successful goaltending tandem Monday, trading Frederik Andersen to the Toronto Maple Leafs for two draft picks.
Anaheim acquired the 30th overall selection in Friday's draft and a second-round choice in 2017 for Andersen. He has shared the Ducks' crease with John Gibson for parts of the past two years, including most of last season.
With Andersen playing in 43 games and Gibson appearing in 40, the goalies combined to earn the Jennings Trophy for the NHL's lowest goals-against average. But with two starter-caliber netminders expecting paychecks and playing time commensurate with their abilities, Ducks general manager Bob Murray knew his embarrassment of goaltending riches couldn't last.
''There's no animosity between the two of them, Freddie and Gibby, (but) they both want the net, and they both really didn't want the other guy around,'' Murray said. ''Not for personal reasons, but we were getting to that point where one of them wanted the goal, and one of them had to go.''
Andersen, the first Danish goalie in NHL history, is 77-26-12 with a 2.33 GAA and a .918 save percentage in the regular season. He became the fastest goalie to win 25 games in league history, and he matched Bill Durnan's 1944 record as the fastest goalie to 50 victories.
And while Gibson has occasionally struggled in postseason play, Anderson has also shined in 28 postseason games, going 17-9 with a 2.34 GAA and .916 save percentage.
After three largely outstanding seasons in Anaheim, Andersen expected a major new contract this summer as a restricted free agent. He failed to reach a deal with the Ducks, but the Maple Leafs immediately announced they had signed him to a five-year, $25 million extension.
''When you get a goaltender of this caliber, with the experience he's had and the success ... I think acquiring them is the most important thing,'' Toronto general manager Lou Lamoriello said. ''The price was secondary.''
The four-time Pacific Division champion Ducks moved Andersen to NHL-worst Toronto thanks to the younger Gibson's friendly contract and the financial realities facing Murray, who runs owner Henry Samueli's team on a limited budget.
''We were too far apart, I think,'' Andersen said of his negotiations with Anaheim. ''I'm just happy about being in a big hockey market. It's going to be a lot of fun developing with this young team that's very hungry for success.''
Gibson, who turns 23 next month, agreed to a three-year, $6.9 million contract extension last September, keeping him under Ducks control until at least the 2018-19 season. The Pittsburgh native was still technically a rookie in the just-completed season despite two years of irregular NHL experience.
''We're going forward with a guy that's three, four years younger, a guy that had one of the top five goals-against in the league, and won the Jennings Trophy already,'' Murray said. ''I'm not worried about what I've got left, and we'll go and get a good backup. It's just about managing your assets.''
Andersen is no stranger to tough negotiations in his career. He was originally drafted by Carolina in 2010, but re-entered the draft in 2012 after failing to agree to a deal with the Hurricanes.
After winning the Pacific Division and playing in the postseason in each of his three seasons with Anaheim, Andersen is headed north to compete with former Kings backup Jonathan Bernier, who is under contract for next season at $4.15 million.
Youngster Garret Sparks also is still with Toronto, which missed the playoffs for the 10th time in 11 seasons.
Toronto acquired the 30th pick in the trade that sent Phil Kessel to Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh. The Leafs also have the 1st and 31st picks after winning the NHL draft lottery.
AP Sports Writer Stephen Whyno in Washington contributed to this report.