It looks like Frederick Andersen might have played his last game as a Toronto Maple Leafs’ goalie. Although Andersen has some detractors – mostly because he’s not led them to playoff series’ wins – most Maple Leaf fans have grown to appreciate Andersen in goal.
Here’s saying they should appreciate what he’s brought to the team. Make no mistake, Andersen has been a star for the Maple Leafs.
In Andersen’s five seasons with the team, he’s been their starter. In fact, the first three seasons with the team he played an incredible 60 games plus each season. However, this past 2020-21 season, he was injured; and, fortunately for the Maple Leafs, Jack Campbell jumped in to save the season for the team.
Everything points to Andersen leaving during the offseason to find a spot on another team. Certainly, there’s been news that Andersen’s agent Claude Lemieux has been talking to Maple Leafs’ general manager Kyle Dubas about a contract, but there’s also been rumors that Andersen wants upwards of $5 million per season on a new contract; and, that simply doesn’t seem reasonable given the Maple Leafs’ flirtation with the upper limits of the flat salary cap at $81.5 million.
If Andersen leaves the team, it will be a loss. Obviously, he can be replaced; and, that’s the way with all NHL players. New ones come to take the place the those who’ve previously been stars with the team. That too is the case with Andersen.
In this post, I want to offer a tribute to Andersen’s success with the team by pointing out four key facts about his play as a goalie that have made him one of the best Maple Leafs’ goalies in franchise history. I’ll put these facts into reasons why he’s been such an important goalie for the team over the past few seasons.
Of all the many goalies who’ve ever played for the Maple Leafs, Andersen holds the single season record for most wins in a season. That record is 38 wins, and he recorded that franchise-leading total during the 2017-18 regular season. Andersen’s also fourth on the list of wins in a season with 36 victories during the 2018-19 season.
Other notable Maple Leafs’ goalies on the list of Top 10 victories for the team include Andrew Raycroft (during 2006-07) and Ed Belfour (2003-04) who each totalled 37 wins during those seasons.
For as many games as Andersen has played, he’s never once been in the Top 10 during any single season for Maple Leafs losses. He’s been an integral part of a strong team during each season he’s played. In fact, during his Maple Leafs’ record-setting 38-win, 2017-18 season, his record was 38-21-5.
Those 21 losses were the most he’s ever suffered during a season with the Maple Leafs. His next highest total was 16 losses during the 2018-19 season when his record was 36-16-7. In short, Andersen’s helped the Maple Leafs become a winning team each season he’s played with them.
Three times Andersen has made the Top 10 per season in facing shots on goal. That is, during all of Maple Leafs’ franchise history with all the goalies who have ever played for the team, he’s made the Top 10 in facing shots on net three times. He shares that distinction with Felix Potvin.
Both these goalies have been in the Top 10 in shots against three times, which means that during all of Maple Leafs’ franchise history only four other goalies have come close to facing as many shots as Andersen and Potvin have faced.
Potvin holds the record for facing frozen rubber, when during the 1996-97 season he faced a whopping 2438 shots. But there’s Andersen in second place, with 2211 shots faced during 2017-18. Andersen also holds sixth place (2052 shots faced in 2016-17) and tenth place (1958 shots faced in 2018-19). By the way, Potvin came in fourth place (in 1995-96 by facing 2135 shots) and seventh (in 1993-94 by facing 2010 shots).
Ed Chadwick – who played in goal for the Maple Leafs during the decade of the 1950s – also has made the list two times. The only other goalies on the Top 10 list in facing shots on net are Johnny Bower (1959-60) and Wayne Thomas (1975-76).
However, for as many shots as Andersen’s faced, he’s never been in the Top 10 of goals allowed. Surprisingly, that infamous record is held by Hall of Fame goalie Grant Fuhr who, during the 1991-92 season, allowed 230 goals to get past him.
Reason #4: During Franchise History, Andersen Is Fourth All-Time in Wins, but 13th All-Time in Losses
Andersen sits in sixth place in franchise history in games played in goal with 268; but he’s fourth in wins with 149, but only 13th in losses with 74. He’s also seventh in save percentage in franchise history with a 0.914 save percentage and seventh in time in net with 15625 minutes logged.
During his great five-season career, he’s posted a great 149-74-36 record.
Frederik Andersen might soon be leaving the Maple Leafs as an active player, but his name will likely forever be recorded in the team’s record book for all-time great goalies who’ve played with the team. Given the way that goalies are deployed these days, no one soon – unless the team goes on an incredible run – is likely to beat his 38 victories during a single regular season any time soon.
Thanks to Frederik Andersen for his stellar Maple Leafs’ career.