March 21, 2022, Saint Paul, Minnesota USA; Marc-Andre Fleury, Minnesota Wild goaltender (29) congratulates Cam Talbot (33) following their match against the Vegas Golden Knights at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory credit: Brad Rempel – USA TODAY Sports
Wild signed Marc-Andre Fleury, a $7 million, two-year deal to resolve their goalkeeping woes. This prevented the future Hall of Famer from ever testing free agency. However, Fleury’s decision to keep Fleury could impact Cam Talbot’s future as a veteran goalkeeper. He is still under contract for another season at $3.7 million.
According to Pierre LeBrun, TSN and The Athletic, Talbot’s agent George Bazos met Bill Guerin, Wild general manager, on Friday in Montreal as part of the third round NHL draft. LeBrun reported that Bazos stated via text that they had both “stated our positions” and that Billy has “a lot to think about.”
Guerin, who was not pressured in his NHL career, and will certainly not be under pressure as an executive, quickly responded. According to Michael Russo from The Athletic, Guerin said that he had nothing to do. “Cam Talbot has a contract. George can speak whatever he likes. My team is available now and things are as they should be. We can have any discussion we like. Cam is part of our team. Cam is a great friend. We are just trying to win.
The problems between Wild and Talbot date back last season. Fleury was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks by Talbot on the trade deadline. He and Talbot shared the goalkeeping duties for most of the rest of the regular season. Fleury was a member three Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh teams and he started the Wild’s five playoff games against St. Louis. Talbot played the sixth game in which Wild lost. Kelly, Talbot’s spouse, took to Twitter to express concern that her husband’s time at Minnesota might be over.
Bazos’ message sent to Lebrun didn’t indicate that Fleury was happy to stay in Minnesota. However, Fleury stated that he had text Talbot on Friday.
Guerin is correct that Talbot’s future is in his hands for at least one season more, but one has the question of whether he really wants a goalkeeper who pouts at the possibility of losing game time. Guerin stated that Talbot was very happy with the situation after Fleury’s acquisition in March. He added, “No room to petty-.”
Wild are a team of three with Talbot, 35 and Fleury, 37. This is because salary cap issues and the fact that Talbot would have to be replaced with another veteran makes it difficult for Wild to replace Talbot. . Wild is down to $1.4 million, meaning that 2021’s first-round selection Jesper Wallstedt from Sweden will likely spend next season in Iowa.
A team looking for goalkeeper help may ask Talbot about him and offer to pay a lot, especially if they are looking to get rid of a goalkeeper before Wednesday’s free agency deadline. Guerin could play hardball alongside Talbot.
Fleury stated that he believes Cam and he will play. It will be similar to last year. Both of us will be playing, and that’s something I believe will work in our favor. We’ll be able to have a new goalkeeper and a man who can win games every night. Let’s support each other and push one another. It will benefit the entire team.
It’s great with me. Cam and I get along well. Cam is a great goalkeeper and a great person. Sometimes it can be a little easier for the body. I’m getting older. You’ll be more alert and healthy when you play.
Fleury declined to play for the teams that had expressed interest, but he confirmed that he was open to other options. If he had been on the market, it is possible that the Toronto Maple Leafs might have sought him out. Fleury played only 11 regular season games for the Wild, going 9-2, with an average of 2.74 goals and 0.910 save percentage. However, Fleury felt Minnesota was the right place for him and his family.
He said, “I like the team. I like the guys at the locker room, coaches, and the team.” “I was very pleased with the welcome I received at the fans’rink and in the city. It’s a wonderful place to raise my family and my children. It’s a great team. We can win some games, I believe. This is important to me. It’s something I look forward to.”