With the Draft two days away, the Rangers are inching closer to trading Cam Talbot. The popular backup who was largely responsible for the team winning the President’s Trophy is drawing plenty of interest from teams who need a starting goalie. With the soon to be 28-year old signed to a one-year deal worth $1.45 million, he’ll be a bargain before his new team re-signs him.
In two seasons on Broadway, Talbot went 33-15-5 with a 2.00 goals-against-average, .931 save percentage and eight shutouts. That included a 21-9-4 mark with a 2.21 GAA, .926 save percentage and five shutouts in 36 games (34 starts) in ’14-15. After Henrik Lundqvist went down with a sprained blood vessel, he posted a 16-4-3 record with a 2.16 GAA, 929 save percentage and two shutouts in 23 starts. That run vaulted the Blueshirts into first in the Metropolitan Division and helped them gain home ice.
When Talbot first arrived, no one knew what to expect. The former University of Alabama-Huntsville star was signed by the Rangers as a college free agent following ’09-10. He spent over three years in the AHL with the Hartford Wolf Pack. After a strong showing in training camp prior to the start of ’13-14, he was recalled by the Rangers to replace Martin Biron as the backup. Showing great poise and maturity, Talbot went 12-6-1 in his rookie season posting a 1.64 GAA, .941 save percentage and two shutouts. He gained the trust of coach Alain Vigneault even starting three straight in late December 2013 when Lundqvist struggled.
Talbot even had his own trend on Twitter with Garden faithful referring to him as #InCamWeTrust. His amazing transformation made him a fan favorite. The way he handled himself following games was easy to admire. Fans recognized him by voting Talbot the Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award winner for ’14-15. His effort was heroic following Lundqvist’s injury.
For the Rangers, it was a blessing in disguise. After Talbot decided to sign for another year, it allowed them to get him at a cheap price. Once Lundqvist went down, he proved he could be a starter increasing his trade value. With rebuilding teams such as the Oilers and Sabres searching for a number one goalie, Talbot is a hot commodity. Similar to Canucks backup Eddie Lack, a trade makes sense. Especially with the Blueshirts looking to recover draft picks. They still don’t have a number one pick in a deep draft. They reportedly turned down an offer of two second rounders for Talbot. TSN’s Darren Dreger tweeted the latest this morning.
The Rangers would like to have something done by Friday. Chances are it won’t wrap up until the weekend. They have their second round pick which is number 59 overall. With Glen Sather mortgaging the future in win now deals sacrificing first round picks for soon to be departed Martin St. Louis and Keith Yandle who has one year left before turning unrestricted, the organization needs to hit a home run with Talbot.
Wherever he goes, I wish him the very best. He certainly deserves the opportunity to start in the NHL. Hopefully, he finds a new home and succeeds.