Cam Talbot Wild Trade Ranking to Ottawa Senators

The Minnesota Wild and the Ottawa Senators completed a landmark deal between goalkeepers and goalkeeper last month. In the deal, Wild sent veteran Cam Talbot to the Senators, in exchange for Philip Gustafson.

Below, we take a look at how the trade breaks down for each team.

Minnesota Wild

After goalkeeper Marc-Andre Fleury was re-signed, it seemed clear that Talbot was not happy with the situation. Although General Manager Bill Guerin stated publicly that Talbot was under contract and the team was hired, Talbot transferred soon after.

In his two seasons with Wild, Cam Talbot scored a respectable 0.913 saves in 82 games. He had one year left on his contract at $3.67 million.

At Gustavsson, Wild gets a much smaller net guard in return. Originally drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the second round of the 2016 draft, he was dealt to Ottawa in 2018 as part of a trade that sent Derek Brassard forward in the other direction. Gustavsson played 27 NHL games and last season, he scored 892 savings in 18 NHL games with Ottawa. He also played 20 AHL games with the Belleville Senators, where he was able to provide a much stronger 0.915.

While Gustafson’s numbers with the Senators this year haven’t been great, there are clues to the fact that he could be a good goalkeeper in the NHL. Gustavsson has also been playing behind a very poor NHL team this year, which hasn’t helped his stats. Then apart from his strong AHL play this year, his numbers in 2020-21 have been consistently strong.

He posted a 0.933 save in nine games with the Senators during the brief COVID season. His AHL numbers were also strong, managing to provide a 0.910 percentage point through 13 games with Belleville. He also played 19 matches in Sweden’s second-highest professional league, with a score of 0.919 savings.

Gustafson’s age also remains a major cause for optimism. Having recently turned 24, he’s still developing and it’s hard for him to set his own ceiling.

It’s a pretty fair comeback for Wild, given that Talbot isn’t necessarily an outright start and only has a year left on his deal. Wild also lost to a goalkeeper who was still fairly young this season, trading Capo Kahkkonen against the San Jose Sharks in their last off-season. As a result, the acquisition of a young Internet guard in Gustavsson was a great plus.

Of course, Wild also managed to clear the cover space. The team is in such a tight spot, that they needed to trade forward Kevin Viala to the Los Angeles Kings for future assets. The Wild is still trying to stay competitive now, but having a young goalkeeper like Gustavsson learning behind Fleury could definitely pay off.

While Wild probably didn’t want to deal with the Talbot, they got a reasonable return.

B degree

Ottawa Senators

With Talbot, Senators gain an experienced network coach to stabilize their situation. Talbot is able to play 45-50 games per year and certainly offers a network upgrade.

Anton Forsberg has had a great year too and provides another solid option behind Talbot. Tandem should be a major asset to the team next season.

The downside to Talbot is that it won’t be a long-term solution after leaving the Wild. Now 35, and with only one year left on his contract, he could leave as soon as next summer. With Senators building into a competitive team, Talbot may not necessarily be around for long.

They have also given in to a very decent young goalkeeper in Philip Gustafson. While upgrading their guard system was important, it was not necessarily so urgent that they needed to give up Gustafson perhaps for just one year from Talbot.

If Talbot leaves in the summer of 2023 and Gustavsson turns out to be a good network manager, the deal could come back to hurt senators for not waiting. Ottawa has some pretty good goal-guiding expectations at Mads Sogaard and Leevi Merilainen, arguably they don’t have a sure bet as newbies ahead. As a result, dealing with Gustafson at this point is a risk.

However, the senators were looking forward to making major upgrades this season. The addition of Talbot from Wild should be a huge help to the team, as they look to push into the playoffs.

While they gave up a good young goalkeeper to make it happen, Talbot should be a key piece in Ottawa next season.

B degree

With the deal, Ottawa gets immediate help in the form of Talbot. Hopefully he will be able to provide the effect that senators thought they would have when they added Matt Murray in 2020.

For Wild, they get a good young goalkeeper, while freeing up space in the process. While Talbot trading may not originally have been part of the plan, Gustavsson is a solid addition that could be a good fit for the future.

All in all, it’s a fair deal for both sides with stable versus unproven potential.

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