Revisiting the Senators’ Trade for Cam Talbot

Ottawa Senators normal supervisor Pierre Dorion opened the season on the entrance foot, remodeling his roster to a optimistic reception. The Senators, many individuals felt at the time, had been certain for the playoffs after including Alex DeBrincat and Claude Giroux to an ever-improving squad.

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Dorion was praised for his summer season manoeuvrings, rebuilding his status after a number of sluggish seasons in Ottawa. His choice to restructure the crease raised eyebrows throughout the hockey world – however the response was broadly optimistic.

The Senators sent injury-prone Matt Murray and his outsized cap hit to the Toronto Maple Leafs on July 12 and traded Filip Gustavsson to the Minnesota Wild in change for Cam Talbot simply two days later.

Cam Talbot Ottawa Senators
Cam Talbot, Ottawa Senators (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Plenty has occurred since then, with the Senators falling quick in the regular-season, the Wild eradicated from the playoffs by the Dallas Stars, and the Maple Leafs ending their 19-year run of postseason futility.

With that mentioned, it’s the excellent time to revisit the commerce that noticed Talbot be part of Ottawa. How ought to we assess the transfer one season later?

Why Did the Ottawa Senators Trade for Goaltender Cam Talbot?

With Murray headed for Toronto, the Senators acquired Talbot to finish a tandem with Anton Forsberg. The 35-year-old posted a .911 save proportion (SV%), 2.76 goals-against common (GAA), and three shutouts in 48 begins in his ultimate season with the Wild, demanding a commerce – by way of his agent – as soon as Minnesota opted to increase deadline acquisition, Marc-Andre Fleury.

There had been loads of potential suitors for Talbot, however it was the Senators who struck the take care of the Wild, sending Gustavsson to Minnesota.

Filip Gustavsson Minnesota Wild
Filip Gustavsson, Minnesota Wild (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

“Cam is experienced and provides us with greater goaltending stability heading into next season,” Dorion said at the time. “He was instrumental in helping Minnesota reach the playoffs in each of his two seasons with the Wild. The tandem of he and Anton Forsberg sets us up nicely for the upcoming year.”

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By distinction, Gustavsson had simply completed a mediocre season in Ottawa, posting a .892 SV%, 2.50 GAA, and two shutouts by 18 appearances. Dorion felt it was time to maneuver on from the former second-round decide and traded the then 23-year-old for a serious league veteran.

How Did the Season Unfold for Cam Talbot & Filip Gustavsson?

The Senators had been dealt an early blow when Cam Talbot suffered an upper-body harm in coaching camp, forcing him to overlook important enjoying time. This setback pressured the Senators to say Magnus Hellberg off waivers to fill the void left by Talbot’s harm.

With Talbot unavailable, the Senators had been pressured to depend on Forsberg in the early weeks of the season, stretching him too thinly as the workforce tumbled down the standings in November.

The Wild, in the meantime, loved robust play from Gustavsson, with the Skelleftea-born netminder recording a .933 SV% by 5 appearances in November. By the finish of the season, the workforce that gained the commerce grew to become clear:

Netminder Appearances Goals Saved Above Expected Per 60 SV% GAA
Cam Talbot (OTT) 36 -0.022 .898 2.93
Anton Forsberg (OTT) 28 0.330 .902 3.26
Filip Gustavsson (MIN) 39 0.628 .931 2.10
Matt Murray (TOR) 26 0.041 .903 3.01

* superior statistics offered by Money Puck.

While Gustavsson flourished in Minnesota on a team-friendly contract – the place he stays underneath workforce management as a pending restricted free agent – Talbot laboured in Ottawa and confirmed restricted curiosity in re-signing with the Senators. As a outcome, he’s anticipated to stroll away from the membership as an unrestricted free agent this summer season.

What Does the Future Hold for the Ottawa Senators?

After a disappointing season in web for the Senators, it could be time for the franchise to embrace Talbot’s departure and use it as a chance to develop younger netminder Mads Søgaard.

While Talbot has been dependable in the previous, his efficiency this season left quite a bit to be desired. With a .898 SV% and a 2.93 GAA in 36 video games, it’s clear that the 35-year-old is just not a long-term answer for the Senators – who should make a playoff push in 2023-24.

Related: Senators Have Plenty of Options for Goaltending Solution

Forsberg additionally struggled in web, posting a .902 SV% and a 3.26 GAA as his season was curtailed by devastating knee accidents. With that in thoughts, the Senators have to look to the future for their goaltending options.

That future might be Søgaard, a 21-year-old netminder who was drafted by the Senators in the third spherical of the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. Søgaard has spent the previous two seasons primarily enjoying in the American Hockey League – the place he confirmed flashes of brilliance.

Mads Sogaard Ottawa Senators
Mads Sogaard, Ottawa Senators (Photo by Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire by way of Getty Images)

Søgaard continues to be a piece in progress, however he has the measurement, athleticism, and technical potential to turn into a profitable goaltender at the highest degree. By embracing Talbot’s imminent departure as a free agent and giving Søgaard an opportunity to develop at the NHL degree, the Senators can start constructing for the future and laying the groundwork for sustained success.

In different phrases, Dorion will reside to remorse his choice to commerce Gustavsson for Talbot. The Senators would have been greatest served by standing pat in the goaltending division.

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