With various reports the Minnesota Wild were interested in several goaltenders, they ultimately sign Former Calgary Flame Cam Talbot to 3 years, $11M.
After the end of the Draft Day marathon, Bill Guerin made the Wild’s immediate plans clear and simple: Getting a Goalie. That told us a couple of things.
- Depending on who they get, it’s unlikely that Alex Stalock will be the bonafide starter. If the right person is acquired, maybe he’s part of a 1A-1B split tandem, but it does not seem the organization is completely comfortable giving the keys to the net completely to Stalock.
- I think it’ll be a long shot for Kaapo Kahkonen to make the NHL roster out of camp.
Now that Free Agency is open, Bill Guerin made his move.
Cam Talbot doesn’t make the first point entirely true, he only started about 30% of the total games for the Flames last season, but performed well posting a .919 save percentage and a 2.67 GAA, both better than the starter David Rittich.
More detail stats further bolsters the story. Evolving-Hockey ranked Cam Talbot 35th in the NHL for Regular Season Goals Saved Above Expected with a -0.29. That isn’t world-beating, but it is 10.14 more than Big Save Dave, who came in at a dastardly -10.43. Even more, it is 16.35 more than Alex Stalock and 27.2 more than Devan Dubnyk.
In Guerin’s media availability, he made the Goalie situation blatantly clear.
He also answered the Kaapo Kahkonen question
So as it stands, Talbot’s the starter, Stalock is back in his backup role, and Kahkonen will return to Iowa, hopefully for another dominant season in the AHL. I wonder if management wants to essentially hide Kahkonen in the minors to dissuade Seattle from taking him in the expansion draft with limited NHL exposure.
We should also note, by not tendering a qualifying offer to Mat Robson, it’s likely Hunter Jones joins the Iowa Wild roster and is the backup to Kaapo Kahkonen.
I don’t mind this signing by Bill Guerin. They didn’t need to contend for the services of the well-accomplished Henrik Lundqvist, Jacob Markstrom, Braden Holtby, or Matt Murray, and signing Cam Talbot was likely the least expensive way to get a starting goaltender when you consider what could be involved in a Marc-Andre Fleury trade.