The Hurricanes signed two new goaltenders Wednesday on the opening of free agency. One of them, Frederik Andersen (two years, $4.5 million AAV), is getting a return of sorts. He was taken by the Hurricanes in the seventh round of the 2010 draft, but ultimately didn’t sign with the team before re-entering the draft in 2012 and being picked by the Anaheim Ducks before eventually moving on to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Andersen spoke with the media Thursday about signing with the Hurricanes, here’s a full breakdown of everything he had to say:
On his decision not to sign with the Hurricanes in 2012: Way back when I was drafted, we were trying to get something done, but looking at Cam Ward being there for a number of years and being kind of solidified as a number one in a pretty busy net, me and my agents talked about just going back and seeing what the draft could do, and maybe end up in a place where the chance of playing and having a good career would maybe be a little bit more possible. That was our little gamble and the way we saw it. It wasn’t ever about not playing in Carolina or anything like that. It was more that the net was pretty busy, so that was a very different career path looking path, but I thought it was the right move at the time and obviously I’ve had a good career so far.
On how he feels about his game and how he landed on the Canes: They were really interested. From what I heard, they had a really good team, really good culture, so with that part, I’m really excited that they were interested in me and obviously want to prepare and then get back to the level I know I can play at. I think last year was a difficult year personally, and dealing with some injuries, I wasn’t able to play the way I wanted to. I definitely feel very motivated to get back to that level again.
On his time in Toronto and if he discussed re-signing with the Maple Leafs: On returning, I think we were a little bit too far apart to get something going. I think the talks my agent and the Leafs management had was just tough. They obviously have limited cap space and wanted to pursue something else. Looking back, I would definitely look back with some great memories, especially some of the teammates I’ve had over the years have been incredible. I think the five guys have been there the whole time with me were a big part of my time there and obviously made it really fun being there.
On if he’s spoken with any of his new teammates yet: Haven’t talked to [Antti Raanta] yet. Talked to Jake Gardiner a little bit, just because I’ve known him from Toronto, as well as Josh Leivo. That’s exciting to have some people I know already. I had some texts here and there with some of the other guys and I’ve been able to speak to management and coaching staff. The last couple of days have been really busy, so just trying to catch up with all of that and start getting to know some of the new teammates.
On what he expects the relationship in net to be like with his new partner, Antti Raanta: I don’t know him personally yet, but I’m looking forward to. I think you have to have a good healthy competitiveness, but also being able to help each other to get the best out of both goalies, is something that’s really important. Having a good friendship off the ice is really good and like I said before, having that competitive edge with trying to help the team win when it’s your turn to have a chance in net is important. I’m looking forward to building that as well as the relationship with the rest of my teammates.
On what the deciding factor to come to Carolina was: The deciding factor was mostly the culture that I’ve heard has been built there. That was what Jake’s emphasis was on. The culture from the coaching staff and down I think is really good and they’ve had good years previously and are building to keep reaching towards something that can compete for a cup. I think that’s really important, obviously. Jake had really good things to say about living in North Carolina and he was pretty sure I would feel really comfortable there. Those were some of the main things that he had to say.