It’s no secret that the achilleas heel of the Ottawa Senators this season was their struggles in the goaltending department. This has been a theme of the team ever since Craig Anderson departed from the them in the summer of 2020. Since then the team has experimented with a number of goaltenders and the most effective of this group has been Anton Forsberg who has been a serviceable starter during his tenure with the squad. Earlier this season, Forsberg unfortunately had an injury that saw him tear both his MCL’s and now it is largely unknown if he will be able to get back to his original form. I am hoping for Forsberg to come back and play at a high level, but given the stakes this season has for the team, it would be a mistake to not address the goaltending position. The Cam Talbot situation has turned into a disaster for the Senators and he will not be returning to the team. The Senators need to find a starter level goalie this season either through trade or free agency, and I have listed a couple options I could get behind.
Jeremy Swayman: Boston Bruins
Offer Sheet: 1 Year $4.29 Million Dollars
* If they do not retire
The Boston Bruins currently have just under $5 million in projected cap space for this upcoming season. The team also has notable UFA’s to resign including Tyler Bertuzzi , Patrice Bergeron *, David Krejci *, Dmitry Orlov and others. This does not include their young promising goaltender Jeremy Swayman who is due for a raise this year. The Bruins are going to have to make a decision, and they already have Vezina nominee and most likely winner Linus Ullmark signed for the next couple of seasons. If they decide Swayman does not fit in with their cap allocation, the Senators could capitalize offering a 1 year deal.
Given the price of the offer sheet, the Senators would have to give up their second round pick which is a measly price to pay for a 24 year old goaltender who has shown tremendous promise at the NHL level.
Jeremy Swayman had a .920 SV% this season with a 2.27 GAA in 37 games.
Adin Hill: Las Vegas Golden Knights
Free Agency Signing
Adin Hill is an interesting option for the Sens, the 27 year old had himself a solid season in Vegas this year but has really gone on to shine in the playoffs. Hill has found a way to be one of the best goaltenders in the post-season this year as so far he has a .938 SV% and a 2.06 GAA. These numbers are absolutely elite and if he is able to keep up this level of play he should without a doubt be able to form a great tandem with Anton Forsberg. As history has told us time and time again, goaltenders progression and growth is anything but linear. There have been countless examples of goalies finally figuring it out midway through their 20’s and Hill just might be the latest example of this. Given the cap crunch that Vegas is currently in, it is unlikely they would be able to afford Hill’s services without sacrificing another piece of their team.
Adin Hill had a .915 SV% this season with a 2.45 GAA in 27 games.
Joonas Korpisalo: LA Kings
Free Agency Signing
Korpisalo is another solid option for the Sens to take a look at. The 29 year old split the season between the Columbus Blue Jackets and the LA Kings where he posted some of his best numbers since his rookie campaign. The intriguing part about pursuing Korpisalo is that he had great numbers over a fairly large sample size, what’s especially impressive is that he did this on a very weak Columbus Blue Jackets team for most of the season. The risk however is that he had a couple of very weak seasons prior to this year, so it begs to ask the question who is the real Joonas Korpisalo. On a low term deal however, I believe acquiring the goaltender would be a smart move and given he is still on the right side of 30, he should have a good number of years left in him.
Joonas Korpisalo had a .914 SV% this season with a 2.87 GAA in 39 games.
Predators Receive: Alex DeBrincat, Mathieu Joseph, Lassi Thomson
Senators Receive: Juuse Saros, Alexandre Carrier
I will be the first to admit that this is probably the most unlikely trade of the bunch, more just a hope and a prayer that this could actually happen. I wrote about this in a separate article looking at potential DeBrincat trades so I will paraphrase, if you would like a more detailed explanation be sure to check out that article.
The Predators currently have blue-chip goalie prospect Yaroslav Askarov playing with the Milwaukee Admirals and it is only a matter of time until he is ready to make the jump to the NHL. If Nashville does not believe they can compete for a Stanley Cup in the years before they may be looking to re-tool and adding DeBrincat would certainly help. DeBrincat will still be in his prime by the time Nashville’s promising young players are ready to compete, and they will still have their goaltending situation solved with the young Russian. For Ottawa, Saros is the instant solution to the goaltending issues, and at 28 years old, he will be playing at an elite level for the window the core is competing in. This will allow Soggard to make his way to the NHL at his own pace, and eventually take over for Saros if and when he is to retire/move on.
Juuse Saros had a .919 SV% this season with a 2.69 GAA in 64 games.