The Minnesota Wild traded goaltender Cam Talbot to the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday for goaltender Filip Gustavsson, days after tensions between Talbot and the Wild came to the surface at the NHL Draft.
Talbot, 35, appeared in 49 games for the Wild last season, going 32-12-4 with a .911 save percentage and three shutouts. It was his second season in Minnesota and ninth overall in the NHL.
But the Wild dramatically changed their goaltending situation when they acquired star Marc-Andre Fleury from the Chicago Blackhawks at the trade deadline. Fleury started 11 games in the regular season and five of Minnesota's six games in its first-round playoff loss to the St. Louis Blues.
Last week, Fleury signed a two-year contract extension with the Wild with a salary of $3.5 million per season. While Talbot's contract carries a cap hit of $3,666,667 through next season, his salary in 2022-23 is only $3 million.
His agent George Bezos told The Athletic that he met with Wild general manager Bill Guerin at the draft about bringing Fleury back and what it meant for Talbot. "We both stated our positions, Billy has a lot to think about," Bezos said. Guerin said after the second day of the draft that he had no intention of trading Talbot, regardless of the conversation with Bezos.
"He's under contract. He's a good guy. I'm not going to make a big deal out of this. This is the NHL. Hey, my feelings were hurt as a player, too," Guerin said. "My goal is to win. If we have Cam Talbot or Marc-Andre Fleury in the net, we have a pretty good chance."
Four days later, Talbot is now a member of the Ottawa Senators, joining Anton Forsberg to form a solid duo in net.
Gustavsson, 24, carries a cap hit of $787,500 into the final year of his contract before restricted free agency. He's played 27 NHL games over two seasons, going 10-13-3 with a .905 save percentage.