Frederik Andersen is slated to remain the No. 1 goalie for the Toronto Maple Leafs next season despite ongoing trade rumors, general manager Kyle Dubas said Monday.
“As of this moment, yes, I expect him to be the starting goalie for the team — I was just going to say come October — but whenever we get going here,” Dubas said. “So that’s the way I feel about Fred.”
Andersen, who turned 31 on Oct. 2, had with a 1.84 goals-against average and .936 save percentage for the Maple Leafs in a five-game loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets in the Stanley Cup Qualifiers, but was criticized by the Toronto media for two goals that played a significant role in the outcome of the series.
In Game 1, a 2-0 loss, Blue Jackets forward Cam Atkinson scored the tiebreaking goal 1:05 into the third period on a wrist shot from the top of the right face-off circle that beat Andersen under his blocker. In Game 5, a 3-0 loss, Liam Foudy scored on a wrist shot from a sharp angle that went in off Andersen’s pads and gave Columbus a 2-0 lead at 11:40 of the third period.
Dubas said he was aware of the various reports that emerged after the series ended suggesting he was fielding trade calls on Andersen, who is entering the final season of a five-year contract.
“I know where the [Andersen] speculation started and comes from and rather than address it publicly or be hostile about it, I just addressed it directly with Fred,” Dubas said. “So he and I have had many discussions over the last month or so about that. So he knows where we stand directly.”
Andersen, who was 29-13-7 with an NHL career-worst 2.85 GAA and .909 save percentage this season, has yet to win a playoff series with the Maple Leafs.
During his end-of-season availability in August, he responded to rumors about his future by shrugging his shoulders and saying, “Whatever’s going to happen, happens.”
Acquired by Toronto in a trade with the Anaheim Ducks on June 20, 2016, Andersen is 136-66-33 with a 2.77 GAA, .916 save percentage and 13 shutouts in 244 regular-season games with the Maple Leafs. His numbers are similar in the postseason, where he is 10-14 with a 2.78 GAA and .916 save percentage.