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Senators Have Been A Goaltending Carousel Since Anderson – Hockey Writers – Senators Goaltending

The Ottawa Senators are once again in trade talks for a goaltender. Since the departure of Craig Anderson, the greatest goaltender in franchise history, the Senators have been a non-stop carousel that continues to cycle through network providers, hoping to find a long-term solution.

Anderson played parts of 10 seasons with the Senators and did everything he needed to do for them during that time. He wasn't a Vezina goalie, but he was consistent and made the team successful. He's had some amazing seasons and some mediocre ones, but he's never been a bad goaltender in Ottawa. His tenure will always be remembered for two things. One was his run in the 2016-17 Stanley Cup Playoffs, and the other was his shutout in his return to the team after his wife was diagnosed with cancer. Senators fans love Andy.

Senators Still Haven't Found Their Solution

Since Anderson's last game in Ottawa, the Senators have used 13 goals. Some goalkeepers were thrown to the wolves rather than emergencies due to injuries, while others were found to be starting strikers and did not come out as such.

The first big move the Senators made was acquiring Matt Murray.

Matt Murray:
Senators Stats: 47GP – 15-25-3 – .899 SV% – 3.23 GAA
Acquired By: Trade Pittsburgh Penguins (for second round pick and Jonathan Gruden)

Murray was a bold move at the time, and the Senators were looking to do just that. Murray has been fantastic for the Penguins, a key part of their back-to-back Stanley Cup push, but has shown signs of slowing down in the intervening two years. That being said, Murray was only 26 years old, so it made sense to take a shot with him. In fact, the package offered to Pittsburgh was not realistic, but the contract (four years, $6.25 million) was much higher than what was required.

Murray did not work in Ottawa. He wasn't playing well, suffered a lot of injuries, and the trade almost flashed in the face of then-general manager Pierre Dorion.

Philip Gustavsson:
Senators Stats: 27GP – 10-13-3 – .905 SV% – 3.12 GAA
Acquired Via: Penguins trade (Part return in Derick Brassard trade)

Filip Gustavsson was a very promising young goalkeeper who never got a real chance in Ottawa. In 27 games, behind a poorly constructed roster amid a rebuild, Gustavsson has had some good showings but also some not-so-good ones. He needed a chance to really prove himself and he wasn't given the chance.

He was released very early, and in his first season with his new team, Gustavsson looked incredible, posting a .931 SV% in 39 games. The trade, which we'll get to, didn't make sense for the Senators and was yet another move that blew up in their faces.

Anton Forsberg:
Senators Stats: 112GP – 51-44-7 – .906 SV% – 3.06 GAA
Acquired By: Waiver Claim (from Winnipeg Jets)

Anton Forsberg, Ottawa Senators (Amy Irvin / Hockey Writers)

Anton Forsberg is the only success story in this very long list. Yes, some of the younger guys who played a few games were good, but none had the impact of Forsberg. After being waived multiple times in 2021, the Senators gave him a real shot, and he did very well with it. He played eight games to close out that season with the Senators, and the following season, he finished with a .917 SV%, which earned him his first major NHL contract.

Since then, Forsberg has played two more seasons and is looking good. He's not a .917 hitter, but he's a solid tandem option, which is a complete win for the waiver claim.

Marcus Hogberg:
Senators Stats: 42GP – 9-17-9 – .894 SV% – 3.39 GAA
Acquired By: Constructed (third round, 2013)

Marcus Hogberg's journey was long and short. It took him a while to get to the NHL, but after making his debut, he only played 42 games with the club over three seasons. His development looked solid over the years in the American Hockey League (AHL) and ECHL, but when he got to the NHL, he wasn't good enough to stick around.

Joey Daccord:
Senators Stats: 9GP – 1-4-1 – .894 SV% – 3.50 GAA
Acquired By: Drafted (seventh round, 2015)

Related: Ottawa Senators' 2024 NHL Mock Draft

Joey Daccord didn't get much time in Ottawa, but he was on his way to at least getting a chance with the club. The Seattle Kraken sought him out in the draft, and in the 2023-24 season, Daccord took over as their starting goaltender with a .916 SV% in 50 games. Would this happen in Ottawa? Maybe not, but the fact that he's doing better than anyone else in Ottawa since Anderson's departure hurts.

Mads Sogaard:
Senators Stats: 27GP – 10-10-3 – .884 SV% – 3.44 GAA
Received By: Draft (second round, 2019)

The first established goaltender on this list, Mads Sogaard is the closest prospect to become an NHL goaltender. He's had some great results in his development thus far, and while he doesn't look like a full-time, elite starting goaltender, he certainly has an NHL future. Sogaard played parts of three seasons in Ottawa, and by 2024-25 or the following season, he should be ready to make the full jump to NHL minutes.

Cam Talbot:
Senators Stats: 36GP – 17-14-2 – .898 SV% – 2.92 GAA
Found Via: Trade with the Minnesota Wild (by Filip Gustavsson)

As mentioned in Gustavsson's section, this trade made no sense. Giving up a young, promising goaltender to an aging veteran hurt this team. Cam Talbot came to Ottawa, had a bad season, left the LA Kings, and was great again. Dorion gave the Minnesota Wild the first goal of a season of bad games from Talbot. At the end of the season, when the Senators used seven strikers, Talbot was sidelined for the last few games in place of a smaller, better tandem.

Kevin Mandolese and Leevi Merilainen:
(Mandolese) Senators Stats: 3GP – 1-2-0 – .916 SV% – 3.29 GAA
(Merilainen) Senators Stats: 2GP – 0-1-1 – .878 SV% – 4.23 GAA
Found By: Under Construction (Mandolese: sixth round, 2018 – Merilainen: third round, 2020)

Both goalkeepers fall under the same umbrella here. The Senators have dealt with an insane amount of goaltending injuries and had to call on two young goaltenders to take the crease at different times. Kevin Mandolese isn't expected to be an NHL goaltender anytime soon but has impressive stats, including his NHL debut, while Merilainen, a young, promising prospect, hasn't had a good showing.

Dylan Ferguson:
Senators Stats: 2GP – 1-1-0 – .940 SV% – 2.52 GAA
Acquired via Free Agency Signing/AHL Trade

Dylan Ferguson, who is now playing overseas, signed a one-year contract at the end of the season in an urgent need for the Senators. They were out of usable goaltending at the NHL level and needed more physicality, and Ferguson stepped in and did very well. He may not have an NHL future, but he did very well in his two games with the Senators.

Joonas Korpisalo:
Senators Stats: 55GP – 21-24-4 – 8.90 SV% – 3.27 GAA
Acquired by Free Agency signing

The latest goalkeeper to play for the Senators is Joonas Korpisalo. One of the last moves Dorion made almost immediately exploded in the group's face. Korpisalo is a better goaltender than his numbers suggest this past season, but signing a goaltender for five years at $4 million per season, getting that type of play is a tough pill to swallow.

The idea was for the Senators to find their starter. Less than a year later, they tried to trade him and improve the crease at the 2024 Trade Deadline and are expected to revisit the negotiations in the 2024 offseason.

Senators Can't Find Consensus

Since moving on from one of the most consistent goaltenders they've ever had, the endless cycle of struggling goaltenders in Ottawa continues. After trying to get a response three times, the Senators kept coming up short and making disappointing plays from the starters.

That begs the question: Is the problem with the goalkeeper or the team's defense in front of them? Well, the answer is both. The team and the goalkeeper both need to improve.

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