After relocating to another franchise, one won’t always be able to repeat the same performances that made them so attractive to their new city. Whether because the team they moved to is weaker than the one they left, they are facing natural and unavoidable regression, or they just can’t find the right fit within the organization’s surroundings or system. It’s not that professional athletes choose to be ineffective, but it happens.
However, when a proven netminder playing through their prime is acquired by an organization either ready to contend or hoping to break free from a rebuild, it’s fair to anticipate that their presence will influence increased success.
Unfortunately for these three clubs, who each thought they found their missing piece this past offseason, things haven’t quite panned out in that manner. Made even more surprising by the backstories that preceded such drastic year-over-year declines for each, thus far through 2022-23.
Ottawa Senators: Cam Talbot
Amid a busy NHL offseason, the Ottawa Senators found a way to stand out with a few of the league’s more aggressive moves. Clearly, by infusing stars like Alex DeBrincat and Claude Giroux at this point in their plan, Senators’ general manager (GM) Pierre Dorion felt his team was closer to contending than their 26th-place finish in 2021-22 suggested.
Typically, one of the most important parts of any winning equation in hockey is solid goaltending. An area of Ottawa’s game that had seen its share of struggles the past few seasons. So, after parting ways with Matt Murray — who failed to live up to his hype as a Senator — Dorion had a spot to fill.
Given the newfound level of experience throughout the rest of the lineup, who better to tend their net than 35-year-old Cam Talbot?
Entering his 10th season, Talbot has enjoyed a noticeable resurgence of late, spanning his time rebounding on the Calgary Flames in 2019-20 to spending 2020-21 and 2021-22 winning with the Minnesota Wild.
During that specific timeframe, Talbot accumulated a personal record of 63-30-10, earning a .914 save percentage (SV%), 2.69 goals-against average (GAA), and seven shutouts. Interestingly, though, he was unable to achieve a positive goals saved above expected per 60 (GSAx/60) within any of those seasons. Research that…