The Ottawa Senators have officially acquired goaltender Cam Talbot from the Minnesota Wild in exchange for goalie Filip Gustavsson.
— TSN Hockey (@TSNHockey) July 12, 2022
Senators Get Cam Talbot in Trade
Recently, the Wild re-signed Marc-Andre Fleury to a 2-year contract worth $7 million. The signing caused immediate drama between Talbot and his agent against the front office of Minnesota. Since the Senators traded goaltender Matt Murray to the Toronto Maple Leafs, a starter position opened up in Ottawa.
In two seasons with the Wild, Talbot registered a 51-20-9 record with a 2.71 goals-against average and .913 save percentage. The 35-year-old netminder was solid for the Wild, but injuries and inconsistent performances held him back as a concrete starter. Talbot will now play on the sixth NHL team in his career thus far.
In Ottawa, Talbot should acquire the starting goaltender role as Anton Forsberg will serve as his backup. The relationship between the Senators and former goaltender Murray hit rock bottom, so it made sense for the team to move on from his services. At a cap hit of $3.67 million, Talbot and Murray’s 25% salary retention is a cheaper option for the Senators that provides slightly more stability. The concern is that Talbot has only one year remaining on his contract.
Minnesota Wild Gain Cap Space
The Wild are tight in cap space to the buy-outs of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. Although this decision restricts leverage in any trades, the Wild recognized the fall-out between Talbot and management. According to CapFriendly, the team now attains a cap projection of $4.3 million. This will be huge in what is leading up to be a very active free agency period.
In regards to Fleury, the three-time Stanley Cup champion will take over the starting position in Minnesota. Since being acquired at the 2022 trade deadline, Fleury posted a 9-2 record and 2.74 goals against average with the Wild. In the playoffs, Fleury was the chosen starter and registered 3.04 goals against average and a .906 save percentage in 5 games against the St. Louis Blues. Although he struggled in the first-round loss against the Blues, so did the majority of his teammates. The hot streak of Fleury in the latter end of the regular season clearly convinced management that he was the true starter in Minnesota.
The Wild desired to commit to a 1A-1B goalie tandem, but Fleury should start in the majority of games. The 37-year-old goaltender showed moments of brilliance with the Vegas Golden Knights and he clearly has the drive to win more championships. As for Gustavsson, the 24-year-old goalie shows promise and upside. In his entire career with a struggling Senators team, the young netminder recorded a 10-13-3 record with a .905 save percentage. With guidance and mentorship from a highly experienced Fleury, these numbers can definitely be enhanced.