Option #2: Cam Talbot, Edmonton Oilers
He’s always had his nights in an Oilers uniform, but recently, the 31-year-old has just seemed flatter than what he had been last season.
That 2016-17 season was impressive, but starting 73 out of 82 games can really drain a goalie physically.
The effects showed the next season, with his GAA going from 2.39 to 3.02, his save percentage dropping, and only recording one shutout after recording seven in the season prior.
The coaching change also hasn’t helped matters, with Ken Hitchcock favoring a new number 1 between the pipes.
The return of Mikko Koskinen, a former 2nd round draft pick, has sparked the Oilers into a playoff push. Koskinen has been the goalie Edmonton needed, a hulking 6’7″ frame, 2.18 GAA, and 11-4-1 in his games this season.
Talbot has transformed into the odd-man out. Since Hitchcock was appointed on November 20th, Talbot has played just five games.
Finally, this is a stressful year for Talbot. This is Talbot’s contract year, and after he will turn 32 this summer, so this could very well be his last chance at earning a solid paycheck.
If Koskinen proves he isn’t fool’s gold, Edmonton could feel safer to accept an offer for Talbot’s ticket out.
If the Panthers step up their play with a goalie like Talbot in net, there could be a lot of attention coming his way to discuss a new deal. Here is what the Panthers could give up for Talbot:
This one hurts to say, but Frank Vatrano probably doesn’t fall into the Panthers’ future plans. It’s no disrespect to him, but with Henrik Borgström’s great emergence at the NHL level, and with Nick Bjugstad and Vincent Trocheck to return from injury, it’s just not really the place for him.
Edmonton could do with a winger who wants to put the puck in the net, they’ve struggled to create much from the flanks.