The Senators had played four preseason games, and offseason goaltender acquisition Cam Talbot had yet to see a second of action. Sens fans collectively held their breath on Monday when the Sens surprisingly made a goalie waiver climb, taking Magnus Hellberg from the Seattle Kraken:
Ottawa claims goalie Magnus Hellberg off waivers from Seattle.— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) October 3, 2022
The other shoe dropped not much later, when we found out Talbot had fractured a rib in camp and would miss five-to-seven weeks:
Roster update: The #Sens have claimed goaltender Magnus Hellberg off waivers from @SeattleKraken. He is expected to join the team ahead of Wednesday's practice @CdnTireCtr.— Sens Communications (@Media_Sens) October 3, 2022
G Cam Talbot will be out of the team's lineup for five to seven weeks with an upper body injury.
Earlier today the Sens were hopeful Cam Talbot’s injury was day-to-day.— Ian Mendes (@ian_mendes) October 3, 2022
Now the club announces he’s out anywhere from 5-7 weeks to start the season.
For a club needing a fast start, this is awful news.
They’ve claimed 31-year-old G Magnus Hellberg off waivers from Seattle.
News came later that he’d actually been practising with the injury, hoping the pain was nothing, before X-rays showed the extent of the injury. We’ll see whether the initial timeline, or Dreger’s slight update ends up being more correct:
Cam Talbot, believed to have suffered a fractured rib last Saturday. Practised through pain all week before X-ray determined injury. Depending on healing process, he could be out as little as 3-4 weeks.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) October 3, 2022
Fans had been looking forward to a Forsberg-Talbot tandem, with their different level of experiences. Forsberg had shone in a small sample size last season, but will need a couple more seasons to prove whether he’s the real deal over a full season. Talbot was an All-Star as recently as last season, but at age 35 could decline in a hurry at any point. Replacing Talbot with Hellberg (or Mads Søgaard) makes that tandem a little sketchier. It’s possible the uncertainty in net pushes the Sens into making the trade for Jakob Chychrun.
For Hellberg’s part, it’s really hard to know what he can do. At 31 years of age, he has five games of NHL experience (and only two starts) with two wins, no losses (regulation or OT/SO), a 2.81 GAA and .869 SV%. A 2nd-round pick in 2011, he managed to establish a solid AHL career (187 GP, 2.49 GAA, .914 SV%, 84-71-20 record) over five seasons before leaving for the KHL, where he put up an even better record (81-64-14, 2.00 GAA, .927 SV%). The Red Wings signed him to a single-game tryout contract after last season, but elected not to re-sign him. The Kraken decided to sign him to a two-way deal, and now he’ll get a three-to-seven week chance to show what he can do in Ottawa. Let’s keep in mind, Anton Forsberg came in as a waiver claim with 42 NHL starts across five seasons before stealing the starter’s job last season.
It looks like the earliest Talbot could be back is October 24th vs. Dallas, which would miss the first five games of the season. The latest right now is November 23rd @ Vegas, which would be 18 games missed.