Ottawa Senators’ goaltender Craig Anderson left the club a few days ago to tend to personal matters. He is now back, but the aftermath of his absence is unfortunate. According to Bruce Garrioch, Anderson’s wife, Nicholle, has been diagnosed with cancer.
The 35-year-old net-minder left with a 4-1-0 record and a .903 save percentage prior to tending to the aforementioned family issues.
“With the support of the entire organization, we’ve provided Craig with a leave of absence so that he can attend to a personal matter at home,” Senators’ general manager Pierre Dorion, said in a statement. “While we are uncertain of how long Craig may be away, he will continue to have our support for as much time as is needed. We will respect his privacy and will have no further comment at this time.”
While Anderson departed, new faces made their way between the pipes.
Goaltender Andrew Hammond got the start in the crease for the Senators on Friday when they took on the Calgary Flames. After suffering a lower-body injury, he was replaced by Chris Dreidger, who was recalled in an emergency basis for Anderson. Dreidger stopped 11 pucks on 15 shots in only his third NHL appearance.
“There was definitely a little bit of nerves early,” Dreidger told ESPN. “A tough game to stay into with not a lot of shots, but there’s no excuses.”
As the Senators get their situation figured out in the net, it has to be a spark for the organization to have Anderson, who Nicholle wanted to be back with the team and back in the locker room.