With the recent injury to Cam Talbot, the Ottawa Senators are down a bit of goaltending depth. They claimed Magnus Hellberg off of waivers yesterday but with Antoine Bibeau now dealing with a non-COVID illness, the team has recalled Kevin Mandolese to serve as the third goaltender.
While a third netminder in the preseason doesn’t mean very much in the grand scheme of things, this does shine a light on how important it is for teams to have reliable depth at the position. The Senators actually have more goaltenders under contract than most, with Talbot, Helberg, Bibeau, Mandolese, Anton Forsberg, Mads Sogaard, and even prospect Leevi Merilainen signed to NHL deals.
They learned the value of depth last season when they needed four different goaltenders throughout the year. Forsberg, who started the most for them in 2021-22, figures to take most of the starts while Talbot is out. Mandolese, 22, only has 26 appearances at the AHL level to this point and is likely only ahead of Merilainen -who has already been loaned back overseas – in the organizational depth chart.