The Minnesota Wild and Ottawa Senators completed a remarkable goalie trade last month. In the deal, the Wild sent veteran Cam Talbot to the Senators in exchange for Filip Gustavsson.
Below we take a look at how the trade breaks down for each team.
After the Wild re-signed goaltender Marc-André Fleury, it seemed pretty clear that Talbot wasn’t happy with the situation. Although general manager Bill Guerin publicly stated that Talbot was under contract and the team was formed, he moved Talbot shortly thereafter.
In his two seasons with the Wild, Cam Talbot posted a respectable .913 save percentage in 82 games. He only had one year left on his contract at a cap of $3.67 million.
In Gustavsson, the Wild get a much younger goalie in return. Originally drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the second round of the 2016 draft, he moved to Ottawa in 2018 in a trade that sent Derick Brassard the other way. Gustavsson has played in 27 career NHL games and last season posted an .892 save percentage in 18 NHL games with Ottawa. He also played 20 AHL games with the Belleville Senators, recording a much higher save percentage of .915.
Although Gustavsson’s numbers with the Senators this year haven’t been great, there are signs he could be a quality NHL goaltender. Gustavsson was also playing behind a fairly weak NHL team this year, which didn’t help his stats. Then, aside from his strong play in the AHL this year, his numbers in 2020-21 have always been solid.
He had posted a .933 save percentage in nine games with the Senators during the COVID-shortened season. His AHL numbers were also solid, hitting a .910 save percentage in 13 games with Belleville. He had also played 19 games in the Swedish second professional league, posting a save percentage of 0.919.
Gustavsson’s age also remains a key reason for optimism. Having recently turned 24, he is still developing and it is difficult to project his ceiling.
It’s a fair enough return for the Wild, considering Talbot isn’t necessarily an outright starter and only had one year left on his contract. The Wild also lost a goaltender who was still quite young this season, trading Kaapo Kahkonen to the San Jose Sharks last offseason. As a result, having a young goalkeeper at Gustavsson was a nice addition.
Of course, the Wild also managed to clear some ceiling space. The team is in a tight spot cap-wise, to the point where it had to trade forward Kevin Fiala to the Los Angeles Kings for future assets. The Wild are still trying to stay competitive now, but having a young goaltender like Gustavsson learning behind Fleury could definitely pay off.
While the Wild may not have wanted to deal with Talbot, they got a decent return.
With Talbot, the Senators acquire an experienced goaltender to stabilize their goaltending situation. Talbot is capable of playing 45-50 games per year and certainly provides a net upgrade.
Anton Forsberg is also coming off a great year and provides another solid option behind Talbot. The tandem should be a major asset for the team next season.
The downside with Talbot is that he won’t be a long-term solution after leaving the Wild. He is now 35 years old and with only one year of contract, he could leave as soon as next summer. As the Senators become a competitive team, Talbot won’t necessarily be around for long.
They also dropped a fairly decent young keeper in Filip Gustavsson. While it was important to improve their goalkeeper, it wasn’t necessarily so urgent that they had to give up Gustavsson for maybe just a year of Talbot.
If Talbot leaves in the summer of 2023 and Gustavsson proves to be a quality goaltender, the deal could come back to hurt the Senators for not waiting. Ottawa has quality goaltending prospects in Mads Sogaard and Leevi Merilainen, they probably don’t have a sure bet as a future starter. Therefore, treating Gustavsson at this stage is a risk.
That said, the Senators were looking to make some major improvements this offseason. The addition of Talbot from the Wild should be a big help for the team as they look to head into the playoffs.
Although they gave up a good young goaltender to get there, Talbot should be key for Ottawa next season.
With the deal, Ottawa gets immediate help in the form of Talbot. Hopefully he can deliver the impact the Senators thought they would have when they added Matt Murray in 2020.
For the Wild, they’re getting a good young goaltender, while clearing some space in the cap. While swapping Talbot might not have been part of the plan originally, Gustavsson is a solid addition that could potentially fit in the future.
Overall, it’s a fair deal for both parties in a case of proven stability versus unproven potential.
#Ranking #Cam #Talbot #Wilds #Trade #Ottawa #Senators
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