Anyone worried about Avalanche goalie Craig Anderson's career wasn't standing around his locker Thursday after a light, optional practice at the Family Sports Center.

A standout a year ago, Anderson has been part of a season gone sour with the Avs, serving as a backup of late to Peter Budaj. Anderson is in the last year of a contract, and there is a possibility he could be traded by the Feb. 28 deadline. What happened to his happily-ever-after with the Avalanche?

If that is supposed to bother the Illinois native, you don't know all he's overcome to be playing in the NHL.

Anderson, 29, has been traded once (for a sixth-round draft choice) and claimed on waivers three times. He never played for two of the teams he was claimed on waivers by (Boston and St. Louis). He has played nearly 150 games in the American Hockey League, as recently as 2006-07.

"When you get a few years in the league, you understand a little bit of the mental aspect of the game," Anderson said. "You can only focus on what you can control, and obviously contract matters are out of my control. It's a game; you have fun at it, and the paycheck is a bonus."

It seems as if Anderson is caught in the undertow of the Avs' suddenly dismal season. A man who could seemingly do no wrong most of last season — and who finished in the top 10 voting for the prestigious Hart and Vezina trophies — has been relegated to being the spare goalie at the end of the bench.

His 89.7 save percentage is his lowest since 2005-06, when he was with Chicago. His 2,047 saves were the most in the NHL last season, when his save percentage was 91.7. He had seven shutouts. This season, he has zero.

But Anderson seems defiant, positive he will not only regain the heights of last season, but exceed them. If it's not for the Avalanche? Oh, well.

He refuses to use excuses for his play this season, though he's had knee and groin injuries that seemed to start his slide.

"Those injuries are in the past. I'm not having surgery for anything," he said.