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Will the Senators Make Any Changes in Net?

anton forsberg injury

The Ottawa Senators should trade goaltender Anton Forsberg at the 2024 NHL trade deadline. The Senators have strong goaltender prospects to replace his role as backup. Also, NHL playoff teams want a reliable backup goalie to feel prepared. In addition, this supplants Joonas Korpisalo as the unanimous number-one goalie going forward. Finally, Forsberg gives decent return value and frees up cap space ahead of the 2024 offseason.

The Ottawa Senators Would Be Fine Without Anton Forsberg

We have discussed it before, but the Ottawa Senators have strong prospects in net. The two main players would be Mads Sogaard and Leevi Merilainen. If nothing else this would be a way to motivate the team in front of them to tighten up their defensive play. However, both goalies are doing great in their development. Sogaard has 25 games of NHL experience and needs more NHL time to progress in his personal development. Therefore, he should be promoted to NHL backup goaltender to finish the 2023-24 season and going forward. The other idea here is that the Senators are out of the playoff picture, and you want to be giving prospects increased responsibility and opportunity. By shifting Sogaard up the depth charts, Merilainen also gets a bump up. The safety net for the Sens is given the sample left in the season, if it doesn’t look to be working, they can re-evaluate it in the offseason.

NHL Playoff Teams Want a Competent Backup Goaltender

Besides the fact that it would be beneficial internally, Anton Forsberg can help an NHL playoff team. Goaltending is such an important part of playoff hockey. Furthermore, if we look at the defending Stanley Cup Champion, the Vegas Golden Knights, we know how important depth is at that position as well. For instance, Vegas had four goalies play 10 or more games during the 2022-23 NHL regular season. However, their GP leader, Logan Thompson was unavailable in the playoffs, and they relied on two others. Adin Hill and Laurent Brossoit played 16 and eight games, respectively. There are lots of teams that wouldn’t mind the assurance of a competent NHL backup. Teams that come to mind include the Toronto Maple Leafs, Carolina Hurricanes, New Jersey Devils, and Tampa Bay Lightning.

Anton Forsberg Stats with the Ottawa Senators

We know there are teams interested in goaltenders, but what makes Forsberg so appealing? He makes $2.75M per year until the end of 2024-25. It is a bit pricy for a backup, but if it puts a team over the top, is worth the investment. Moreover, Forsberg has been very consistent as a goaltender. This year has been a struggle in net for the team, but despite his .893 SV%, he still has a winning record (9-8-0). Over his nine-year NHL career, he only has 148 games played, and sports a solid .906 SV%. The one highlight to point out was his magnificent 2021-22, which earned him his current contract. He went 22-17-4 with a .917 SV% and 2.82 GAA. Perhaps most impressively was a tremendous 14.5 GSAA. This was all the while playing on a club that finished seventh in their division.

Why Not Trade Forsberg?

For the Senators, this feels like a solid move. It shows confidence in Korpisalo and its prospect pipeline. Additionally, it clears up vital cap space. This will allow them to explore different options. Both Vladimir Tarasenko and Jakob Chychrun would be great to re-sign and will be a challenge for a team against the cap. Also, Jake Sanderson’s raise kicks in next year, which will further limit their flexibility. This feels like the type of trade to kick-start things for the Senators. This is a fan base growing impatient, and not making the playoffs 2025 borders on the unacceptable.

Main photo: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports


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