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Florida Panthers sign Craig Anderson to complete goaltending tandem @NHLdotcom

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) - The Florida Panthers signed goalie Craig Anderson to a two-year contract Monday, meaning he'll likely enter next season as the primary backup to the newly-acquired Tomas Vokoun.

Anderson went 23-10-1 with a 2.56 goals-against average with the Rochester Americans of the AHL last season, and was 1-1-1 with a 2.21 GAA in five appearances with the Panthers.

"Craig played very well in his backup role for our club during the later part of last season and we felt that he was most deserving of an NHL contract," said coach and general manager Jacques Martin, who pulled off a trade with the Nashville Predators last week for Vokoun - who won 27 of his 44 starts last season.

The Panthers had relied on the goaltending duo of Alex Auld and Ed Belfour, neither of whom is expected back. Belfour will be an unrestricted free agent and Auld was among six players not given a qualifying offer from the team Monday.

Florida made qualifying offers to right-winger Rob Globke, defencemen Steve Montador and Noah Welch, and centres Stephen Weiss, Kamil Kreps and Janis Sprukts. Besides Auld, the players who didn't receive offers Monday were right-wingers Juraj Kolnik and Greg Jacina, centre Dustin Johner, and defencemen Alexei Semenov and Jeremy Swanson.

Teams had until Monday to give qualifying offers to restricted free agents in order to receive the right of first refusal or compensation if that player signs with another team.

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