Craig Anderson will say thanks, but no thanks when the U.S. knocks on his door with an invite to the world championship.

And as the best American goalie who currently has no hockey on his schedule from April 29-May 15, the rejection will be a blow of some degree to his country's chances.

"They haven't contacted me directly, but my agent and I have talked about it, and we just decided that I've been away from my wife (Nicole) too long these last couple of months here, we're expecting a baby in July, and I think family is important," said Anderson, who has mostly been stellar between the pipes since being acquired by the Senators. "Not getting to see her for the 21- or 28-day tournament, whatever it is, could be tough on the family life.

"If she wasn't pregnant and I hadn't been away from her for a couple of months, I think it might be a different story."

Since the trade that saw him move from Colorado to Ottawa for goalie Brian Elliott, Anderson has had a whirlwind six weeks. He has solidified a problem area for the Senators, posting an 8-4-1 record with a sparkling 1.99 goals-against average and a just-as-remarkable .942 save percentage. He's also decided that Ottawa is the place he wants to earn $12.75 million over the next four years — a contract he might have been offered any number of places.

All this after joining a team on which he knew nobody, and leaving behind a wife who is carrying his first child.


There's not a lot of reading between the lines necessary to understand why Anderson chose to sign with the Senators rather than at least see what his options were as a free agent come July 1. A good part of it had to do with the Senators fans.

Unless he's just trying to butter them up so they'll go easier on him when times get tough, Anderson never fails to mention how grateful he is to be so warmly received by Ottawa's hockey community.