MINNEAPOLIS - Cam Talbot apparently wasn’t thrilled that Minnesota Wild general manager Bill Guerin re-signed goalie Marc-Andre Fleury to a two-year contract late last week.
Tuesday, the Wild announced they’ve traded Talbot to the Ottawa Senators for goalie Filip Gustavsson. Talbot played 82 regular season games with the Wild and went 51-20-9 with a 2.71 goals against average, a .913 save percentage and five shutouts. In eight Stanley Cup Playoff games over two seasons with the Wild, Talbot was 3-5 with a 2.66 goals against average and a .915 save percentage, including two shutouts.
Talbot went 13-0-3 in his last 16 regular season games with the Wild last year before they started Fleury in the playoffs against the St. Louis Blues. They stayed with Fleury until Game 6. Last Thursday, the Wild brought Fleury back on a two-year, $7 million deal.
Talbot was under contract with Minnesota for the 2022 season at about $3 million.
"In discussing the trade, I just felt with what’s transpired over the last little while with the signing of Marc-Andre Fleury that it was probably best to just move in a different direction with Cam. That way there’s no drama, there’s no controversy or anything like that," Guerin told reporters on Tuesday via Zoom. "We just felt it was best at this time, we wish Cam all the luck in the world."
Guerin added, "Cam and I actually had a very good conversation. Sometimes you just know in your gut that things might not work out and somebody might not be happy. I don’t want a player to be like that, and sometimes it’s best to just move on. There was no drama, we didn’t want to create drama. I know Cam, he’s a no BS guy and so am I, so let’s just try to make everybody happy here and we’ll just part ways. I have a ton of respect for Cam."
Guerin said Talbot did not request a trade after the team re-signed Fleury.
"I didn’t want to put our team in an awkward position, I didn’t want to put Cam or Flower in an awkward position to where it got in the way of our team being successful. We have good chemistry, we have good culture. Those things can’t exist if we’re going to continue that. I just felt it was best," Guerin said.
Gustavsson, 24, appeared in 18 games and got 16 starts with the Senators last season. He went 5-12-1 with a 3.55 goals-against average, and a .892 save percentage.
He was selected by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the second round, No. 55 overall, of the 2016 NHL Draft.
Guerin said the plan is for Gustavsson to be the No. 2 goalie to Fleury, but it won't be a 50-50 split with games. Guerin knows Gustavsson from drafting him to the Penguins before he was traded to the Senators. The hope is he can learn from Fleury.
"I’m thrilled to be reunited with Filip. There’s a lot of promise for his future and paired with Marc-Andre Fleury, he’s going to flourish and learn a lot," Guerin said.
NHL free agency opens on Wednesday, and by trading Talbot, the Wild freed up more than $4 million in salary cap space.