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Craig Anderson Inks 2-Year Deal; Cats Make Qualifying Offers

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers
Just days after acquiring G Tomas Volkoun from Nashville, Panthers General Manager and Head Coach Jacques Martin finalized the Panthers goaltending tandem for the 2007-08 season by signing G Craig Anderson to a two-year deal on Monday.

Anderson, 26, recorded his first win as a Panther last season by stopping 33 of 35 shots including two shootout attempts in a 3-2 shootout win over Atlanta on March 23. In five games with the Panthers this past season, Anderson recorded a stellar .939 save percentage, going 1-1-1 with a 2.21 GAA.

“Craig played very well in his back-up role for our club during the later part of last season and we felt that he was most deserving of a NHL contract,” Martin said. “He is a diligent, focused and high character player who works hard to stay prepared night in and night out. We are confident both Craig and Tomas Vokoun will work well together and bring success to the organization.”

"I feel honored and am very excited about extending my career with the Florida Panthers organization and working behind Thomas Vokoun," Anderson said. "I feel I have an important role to fill for the team as a back-up goalie, and I am fully prepared to do the job at hand."

The Park Ridge, Ill. native was one of the best goaltenders in the AHL during the 2006-07 season, playing in 34 games for the Rochester Americans earning a 23-10-1 record with a 2.56 GAA and a .919 save percentage with one shutout.

“With the signing of Vokoun we feel we have a number one goaltender. Craig fit our backup role perfectly,” Martin said. “He proved in Rochester (AHL) that he can play at the next level and he played well in some key games for us down the strech last season.”

Anderson was originally drafted by Chicago as their third round choice (73rd overall pick) in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft. During the 2005-06 season, Anderson appeared in 29 games for the Blackhawks with a 3.32 GAA and a 6-12-4 record with one shutout.

Panthers Extend Qualifying Offers to Restricted Free Agents

Florida Panthers General Manager & Head Coach Jacques Martin announced today that the club has tendered qualifying offers to the following players: RW Rob Globke, C Kamil Kreps, D Steve Montador, C Janis Sprukts, C Stephen Weiss and D Noah Welch.

“Steve Montador brings a lot of character to our team,” Martin said. “He is what we are looking for in a Panthers player. He is versitille and can play both offense and defense.

Florida did not extend qualifying offers to the following players: G Alex Auld, RW Juraj Kolnik, RW Greg Jacina, C Dustin Johner, D Alexei Semenov and D Jeremy Swanson.

“We now turn our focus towards trying to sign about five forwards during free agency.”
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