The biggest reason why signing Cam Talbot was a genius move for the Red Wings

General manager Steve Yzerman did little to improve the Red Wings via free agency so far, and that’s a good thing. But so was signing Cam Talbot.
Jan 13, 2024; Detroit, Michigan, USA;  Detroit Red Wings left wing J.T. Compher (37) skates with the puck in front of Los Angeles Kings goaltender Cam Talbot (39) in the second period at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 13, 2024; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Red Wings left wing J.T. Compher (37) skates with the puck in front of Los Angeles Kings goaltender Cam Talbot (39) in the second period at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports / Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
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Superficially, there are a lot of good reasons why the Detroit Red Wings signed Cam Talbot to a two-year deal. They got a viable goaltender for once, and one who rebounded during his lone year with the Los Angeles Kings, where he played in 54 games, posted 27 wins, a 0.913 save percentage, three shutouts, and a 2.50 GAA. 

But that’s not why I’m excited about Cam Talbot joining the Red Wings. Instead, it has much more to do with what this means for the organization’s present and future. Presently, this should mean the end of the ill-fated Ville Husso experiment, as Talbot and Alex Lyon would make a great one-two tandem. The Red Wings also signed Jack Campbell, so it will be interesting to see how he fits into all of this, too. 

More importantly, it shows just how much of a forward-thinking general manager Steve Yzerman is. For one, they got Lyon for another season, but they got the future in Grand Rapids, with Sebastian Cossa, who came off of an excellent regular season in 2023-24 when he posted 22 wins, two shutouts, a 0.913 save percentage, and a 2.41 GAA. 

Red Wings signing Talbot means they won’t be rushing goaltenders

Had Steve Yzerman not done something to get a viable goaltender who could give them two seasons as the No. 1 player in the crease, or up to two seasons, we have no idea how they would have fared otherwise with another year of Ville Husso and Alex Lyon. Sure, Lyon was a revelation, but there’s no way I would have made him my No. 1 goaltender. 

Instead, bringing in a two-year stopgap like Talbot allows the Red Wings to keep developing Sebastian Cossa in the AHL, and it also offers flexibility. Cossa could come into Detroit and play for the big club as a 1A next season, but he would likely fare better as a 1B while Talbot remains the primary netminder for another season. 

Once Talbot’s contract is up following the 2025-26 season, Cossa steps in as the 1A or clear-cut No. 1 goaltender. But in the meantime, he’s an obvious upgrade over the Ville Husso-James Reimer-Alex Lyon trio. 

That should make fans ecstatic in the short-term, but they should also remember that, long-term, signing Talbot means more reps for Cossa in the AHL, and he’ll step into the NHL without the burden of being rushed into action. 

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