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Wild banks on Cam Talbot in goal with 3-year, $11 million deal

The club confirms the deal with the 33-year-old free agent, most recently of the Calgary Flames.
Credit: AP
Calgary Flames goaltender Cam Talbot blocks a shot by the Anaheim Ducks during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Anaheim, Calif., Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

ST PAUL, Minn. — The Minnesota Wild is banking that free agent Cam Talbot will be the answer to its goaltending dilemma. 

The hockey club agreed to a three-year, $11 million deal with the 33-year-old Talbot, most recently of the Calgary Flames. In the 2019-20 NHL season Talbot played in 26 games, starting 22 of them and ending with a record of 12 wins, 10 losses and an overtime tie. His goals against average (GAA) was 2.63, and his save percentage was .919.

Talbot started all 10 Stanley Cup Playoff games for the Flames and went 5-4 with a 2.42 GAA, a .924 save percentage and two shutouts.

During his seven-years in the NHL Talbot has also spent time with Philadelphia, Edmonton and the New York Rangers.

“Big goalie with a good skill set,” former Wild goalie and current TSN analyst Jamie McLennan told The Athletic about the 6 foot 4 goaltender. “If you look at his outlier year where he stunk in Edmonton, he’s been a good goalie. He’s a good leader. He is good in the room. He’s in great shape. He’s liked by his teammates."

“Has a good butterfly, good glove hand, really good crease management, will get in trouble sometimes with rebounds," McLennan continued. "He will give up a bad goal sometimes and he struggles with recovering in a game. Has a bit of a tough time putting it behind him. But I think he has a chance to be real good for Minny.”

It was no secret that the Wild would be looking for a new starting goaltender after the team traded struggling Devan Dubnyk to San Jose, and few thought GM Bill Guerin would be satisfied heading into 2020-21 with career backup Alex Staloch and unproven youngster Kaapo Kahkonen in the net.