Craig Anderson: All-Time Dude
Whether Thursday's game against Ottawa is his last in the NHL or not, he's done things his way and guided others along the way.
BUFFALO — Craig Anderson is starting a game Thursday night like he has 620 previous times throughout his 20 years in the NHL and just like those other games, he’s going about it the same way he always has. At 41 years old, everything points toward this game being the last game in his career.
Trying to present the idea it may just be the end of a long, fantastic career is one he’s not he’s eager to share. Not with us media wonks, anyway.
“I think you’re putting words in people’s mouths there,” Anderson said with a laugh when asked if this was indeed his final game. “Who knows, I’ve been very fortunate to play this game for a very long time. I’m just going to enjoy every last bit of it. The last few years have been on borrowed life support here. Just kind of take the moment as it is and enjoy it because when it’s over its over. It’s not looking too far forward and just trying to stay in the moment.”
Trying to read too much into what he’s saying is probably unwise because if there’s any chance you’re trying to tell him he can’t do something, he’ll show you he can. He’s built his career off of showing teams that when they’ve given up on him be it through waivers or not re-signing him or trading him, he would come back better than he was before.
The “I’ll show you” way to live might be stressful, but it’s deeply motivating. After all, if you can’t believe in yourself, who else will? But part of this journey for Anderson going from being drafted first by Calgary in 1999 and later again in 2001 by Chicago, through seasons with the Blackhawks, Florida Panthers, Colorado Avalanche, Ottawa Senators, Washington Capitals and now the Sabres has been to keep everything on an even keel and to avoid riding the roller coaster of emotions and challenges life throws at you. Life, career, game-to-game moments, minute-to-minute moments on the ice. Staying level.
When asking players for one word to describe Anderson, his teammates both past and present, offer different views about the kind of player and person he is.
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