The Ottawa Senators had granted goaltender Craig Anderson a leave of absence earlier this week, following the news that his wife had been diagnosed with cancer.
When backup Andrew Hammond went down with an injury just a few days later, though, Anderson and his wife made the decision to see him rejoin the Senators while they await test results for her diagnosis.
Now, it’s official – now that he’s back, he’ll get the nod.
The Senators confirmed that Anderson will start earlier this morning, giving him the net as the Atlantic Division club faces the Edmonton Oilers later this evening. They’ll face off at 6:00 PM PST in the team’s final game of a Western Conference road trip.
Anderson, who currently boasts a .903 save percentage for the Senators through five games played on the year, confirmed on Saturday that he’d be returning to help out his club when Hammond went on injured reserve. The decision was announced by team general manager Pierre Dorion, who addressed the media to deliver the emotional news of Anderson’s wife and why the couple thought his return to the club would be best.
“We’re very proud of Craig and Nicholle. He and his wife are dealing with a tremendous issue right now,” he said, via CBC on Saturday.
“Family is way more important than hockey. But at the same time, Craig’s family is this hockey team. And I think when you have those guys in that room that are going to embrace his presence and rally around him, I think it can only be beneficial for all parties.”