Canada

Andersen will cherish his good times with Leafs

Goalie Frederik Andersen, reseting his mask. has been signed by the Carolina Hurricanes.

Frederik Andersen leaves Toronto fourth in franchise wins by a goaltender, with a net full of great memories.

But had he enjoyed some playoff success, he likely wouldn’t have been making farewell remarks to media on Thursday as he joined the Carolina Hurricanes. With the Maple Leafs anointing Jack Campbell No. 1 and not having enough cap to retain Andersen, it was time to cut the cord.

“We were a bit too far apart,” Andersen said of taking $4.5 million US from the Canes for two years. “(Leafs) had limited space and wanted to pursue something else (Petr Mrazek for three years at $11.4 million). No hard feelings there.”

Andersen was the starter in four opening rounds which the Leafs didn’t win, with three deciding game losses. But his 149 wins, behind only Turk Broda, Johnny Bower and Felix Potvin, kept getting them to the playoffs.

“Some of the teammates I had have been incredible, five guys who were there the whole time, Mitch (Marner), Auston (Matthews), Morgan (Rielly), Zach (Hyman) and Willy (Nylander). It made it fun being there. That, and having a great organization with good people.”

Andersen, 31, has been in touch with Leaf-turned-Cane Jake Gardiner, while old friend Josh Leivo also signed there Wednesday.

“From what I hear, they had a really good team, really good culture,” Andersen said. “I was excited they were interested in me. Last year was difficult personally, dealing with (lower body) injuries, not playing the way I wanted. I definitely feel very motivated to get back to that level again.”

Andersen was originally drafted by Carolina in the seventh round in 2010, but with Cam Ward set in goal, he didn’t sign, went back in the draft and went third round to Anaheim where he thrived before coming to Toronto.

lhornby@postmedia.com

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