Talbot Vs The Magic Beans: A Jeanshorts #HotTaek

This post is just one dumb man’s opinion. This is meant entirely to stir the pot and promote conversation. I’m an expert in nothing but taking naps, and if you disagree with me please let me know in the comments, and keep coming back every 10 minutes or so because we would love your ad revenue to know what you think. 

Cam Talbot’s name has been floating around the hockey blogosphere for some time now, as a potential replacement for the picture of Grant Fuhr taped to a plastic chair currently occupying the starting goalie position for the Edmonton Oilers. Conversations (arguments) flared up again when Murray Pam of The Hockey News tweeted a rumour that the Oilers may be willing to part with the 16th overall pick in this years NHL entry draft to acquire the Rangers backup. 

Now, I’ll start off by saying that yes, I recognize that’s a pretty steep price to pay for a guy who 1) has never played more than 36 games in an NHL season and 2) plays behind a New York Rangers team that has been to the Stanley Cup finals and Eastern Conference finals during Talbot’s two seasons as Henrik Lundqvist’s understudy. HOWEVER I also think that we, Edmonton Oiler fans, need to stop putting so much stock into magic beans draft picks. 

The draft is all we’ve had for the last decade, so it’s not like I don’t understand where a lot of you are coming from. We’ve coveted these first round picks because we literally had nothing else to look forward to other than the potential of a bright future, maybe, at some point, possibly. And I’ve always been of the opinion that it’s better to groom homespun talent in order to be successful rather than trying to buy every shiny free agent on the market. 

But here’s my biggest problem; the argument I keep seeing is essentially “It’s a gamble to give up (18 year old junior player to be named at a later date) because POTENTIAL and because Talbot doesn’t have enough NHL experience.” You can’t give up a guy with ZERO NHL experience for a guy with SOME BUT NOT ENOUGH NHL experience? Am I the crazy one here? Does that only sound insane to me? 

We’ve (rightfully) complained about the Oilers poor drafting record since 2006, and yet the idea of getting rid of a draft pick for a guy who is trending to be an elite number one goalie is enough to make some people go a little nuts. This is the same group that hasn’t been able to find an NHL player outside of the first round since Jeff Petry (Lander and Marincin are on a solid upward trajectory but other than that the cupboard is basically bare). The same franchise that TRADED DOWN in the 2003 draft, to avoid making a mistake like drafting Parise or Getzlaf, and wound up with basically nothing from what is considered one of the most stacked drafts of this era. You’ll have to excuse me if my confidence they’ll hit a home run with this pick is lower than Toby Petersen’s blood sugar. 

And speaking of that 2003 draft…



It seems every other year we hear about just how OH SO DEEP the draft is! SO MANY GOOD YOUNG PLAYERS! DEEP DEEP DEEP DEEP DEEP DEEP! And, of course, this year is no exception. And I mock, but I do agree that there seems to be boatloads of potential this year, possibly more than the last 2 or 3 years. I’ve seen it compared favourably to everyone’s favourite draft year (except Oiler fans) the aforementioned 2003 draft. “THE 16TH PICK COULD BE THE NEXT PARISE OR GETZLAF” is a common refrain. Let’s take a quick peek at who was draft from 15th to 20th that year. 

15. Robert Nilsson

16. Steve Bernier 

17. Zach Parise

18. Eric Fehr

19. Ryan Getzlaf

20. Brent Burns. 

So you’ve got two bonafide superstars in Getzlaf and Parise, an incredibly good player in Burns, two bottom six guys in Fehr and Bernier, and *HHHHNNNGGGGG* Robert Nilsson… (never stops laugh-cry-vomiting #KidLine #NoNotThatKidLineTheOtherKidLineFromSixYearsAgo).   

The draft is, and always will be, a crapshoot, and the Oilers have had a questionable (at best) drafting record since 2006. The 16th overall pick COULD be a superstar player in the mold of Ryan Getzlaf (though I think the Oilers already have that player in Draisaitl) just as easily as it could be the next Hugh Jessimen (remember him? Exactly). And on the same token Talbot’s numbers say he COULD easily be a bonafide top 10 goalie, just as easily as he could be the next Andrew Raycroft. 

The Oilers were burned pretty brutally last year by gambling on two unproven starters, so we’re all a little gun-shy about doing it again. I get it. But I personally just think it’s time Oiler fans stop coveting draft picks so highly, and start opening their minds to the idea of building a team with actual NHL players that can be competitive sometime over the next five years. We can’t just keep putting our eggs in the “One Day This Kid May Be Pretty Awesome” basket. 


Giving up the 16th pick for what amounts to a 50/50 chance of acquiring a player that will anchor the Oilers back end for the foreseeable future is a risk. But the Oilers aren’t in a position where they can just sit back and continue to do the cautious thing. They need to start taking some risks in order to finally move this boat toward the playoffs. If they have to give up some future potential for players that can help them win now, so be it. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who thought the Avalanche were insane to give up a first round pick for Semyon Varlamov. But that gamble paid off and (one bad half season aside) he’s been great for them. Why couldn’t the same thing happen for the Oilers? ESPECIALLY after all the insane luck we’ve had over the last few months? KEEP RIDING THAT HOT HAND UNTIL WE GO BUST!  

Everyone was clamouring for bold moves; this seems pretty damn bold to me. BRING ON THE TALBOT ERA! 

  • I’ve been saying this exact thing and have been getting quite the backlash for it on the old Twitter machine. I agree 100% with it though. The time is upon the Oilers to make something of their good fortune to have 2 first round picks in this years draft.

    The gist of most of the opinions that oppose trading #16 pick for Talbot is that we should be able to pick up a 1/2 dman for the #16 pick. Personally, I find this to be extremely wishful thinking, bordering on, it’s not going to happen, like, ever”.

    It is rare for teams to part with good defensive assets in any type of trade, never mind one that involves a pick and fringe players as the major piece. I hate to be the bearer of bad news to these types, the Oilers are going to have to give up a piece of the core to acquire this kind of defensive asset.

    That’s right, I said it. A top 6 forward will need to be traded in order to get a top 2 dman.

    The Oilers need a goalie, badly. Someone that can challenge to be a #1 right now, more than they need to hang their hopes that an unknown prospect will pan out to be a Brent Burns or Ryan Getzlaf.

    Talbot is a diamond that has not had the opportunity to shine, being in the shadow of one of the best, if not THE best goalie in the league. So, of course he doesn’t have as much experience as what everyone wants. It doesn’t mean he’s not good enough though, not by a long shot.

    If the deal can be made to get Talbot for the #16 pick, then I am one of those guys that hopes that Chiarelli makes that deal.

  • pkam

    I absolutely have no problem giving up a draft pick for Talbot, just not the 16th. He has one year left on his contract before UFA and he’s not proven enough. Sorry, but both Fasth and Scrivens were in his exact same boat minus the one year to UFA status and were acquired for much, much less.

    It would be brutal asset management to give up the 16th straight across for Talbot. The price for goaltenders of that range has been proven over the past years to be fairly reasonable and the fact that there are so many decent alternatives means the price will remain low. Lehner, Lack, Markstrom, Talbot, Gibson, etc. All up trending young goaltenders that aren’t quite proven yet on teams with good starters already. There’s not a chance the price for them remains high with that kind of line up to choose from and especially not when you consider the free agent pool that basically includes two others just like them in Greiss and Neuvirth that can be acquired for no assets given up.

  • Butters

    I don’t mind seeing lander as trade bait he just can’t find his game may be wrong but don’t see him really excelling as an oiler 30 to 40 points tops worth a good goalie just my opinion

  • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

    There’s a guy trapped in a deep hole – he’s been stuck down there for nine years. He has one gold coin. A man offers to throw him down a rope for the coin, and the man yells back: “That rope for my gold coin? No way! You send me down a rescue team and a glazed ham… This is a gold coin we’re talking about!”

    And he lived in that hole for the rest of his life and never won a Stanley cup again.

  • ATL Oiler

    Cam Talbot would be my first choice in goal. Todd will almost certainly get his own guy at the G Coach position. If those two moves give us a modest increase in SV% that will show up in the W column

    M Blackwood might be a good use of 33 at the draft.

    Slats has traded away all of the Rangers higher draft picks because he may agree about them not having such great value. Can PC do a straight trade to get Talbot in our net?

    IMHO 16 is a sweet number to get a D prospect.

  • ATL Oiler

    I think a scenario that has been overlooked is the conditional draft pick.

    #57 overall in 2015 + Conditional 2016 1st round pick if Talbot resigns with Edmonton.

    If Talbot pans out and they resign him they get a #1 goalie for a mid 1st and mid 2nd round pick (if he pans out the Oilers could be a playoff team). Not bad, similar to #9 overall for Schneider.

    If he doesn’t pan out, well it cost them a late 2nd rounder to try it out which I think most fans could stomach.

  • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

    True enough, Zarn. I still don’t see Talbot as worth an 11th-13th though. I suppose one could argue that he’s worth it to a team in need of goaltending as badly as the Oil, but I think the 16th should be put towards a defenceman or used to draft one. Starting goalies can be acquired, just ask Calgary.

  • vetinari

    Very few goalies that I would draft with a #16 pick, let alone trade for. Talbot’s price, at most, should be a second rounder, and if necessary, a B level prospect as a sweetener. Also, isn’t Talbot a UFA in one year? Too much risk to dump a mid level 1st rounder on.

  • vetinari

    The oil have d prospects out the backside they need a vet to teach these young guys the ropes let them play let’s face it they can’t get any worse. What do they really have to lose by letting the kids play if petry was our best d man well that’s sad nurse has more potentRial in his pinky and he comes with effort and a mean side something they have lacked for years get what you can for affordable vets and let’s see what the kids bring to the table now

  • sportsjunkie007

    “…a potential replacement for the picture of Grant Fuhr taped to a plastic chair…”

    Oilers definitely need a new goaltender or two, but I’m not certain that Talbot is necessarily the answer. Tell me more about this chair that we currently have.

  • Gordie Wayne

    I don’t think Oilers fans are opposed to trading the 16th at all Robin. I think we are uneasy about using it to trade for Ben Scrivens 2.0. Ben put up insane numbers in L.A,if you can remember,and how has that worked out for the Oilers. Talbot is a 28yr old undrafted goalie,who before playing for a stacked Rangers team,never had a sniff in the NHL.

    If you could trade Scrivens for Talbot straight up,who would have the better numbers next year? I think the numbers would stay the same,and only the names would change teams,and we’d be talking about how foolish we are,when Scrivens puts up the numbers Talbot did this year.

    At the end of the day,it has nothing to do with how we value the pick,or our odds of drafting an actual player with it. It only matters what other teams value the pick,and the odds they feel of drafting a player,and what they’d part with to get him.

    • pkam

      Two issues i see.
      (1) Talbot and Yandle are both UFA after next year. (2) We would be taking on a net of $5 million in cap space.

      If the cap fits i would make this deal because we would win it even if we can only extend 1 of them past next year. But i would prefer to send Marincin than Lander and the Rangers may actually prefer to get a young D rather than another forward. If we have to trade Lander we should go hard after Soderberg in free agency and probably try to trade Gordon also.

      • pkam

        I like that idea as well either way they need help now I’m tired of watching other teams in playoffs lets go PC make it happen and if you can turn this ship around the big names will want to play here again

    • HarryB

      There is no way they are trading yandle after paying so much. A lot of teams will take Boyle and solve a chunk of thier cap issues. Don’t forget Arizona kept 50% of yandles salary for next year. So Yandles cap hit is part of the solution in NYR this season.

      • pkam

        Good point wasn’t sure about Arizona paying still he flopped pretty hard this post season and slats wasn’t affraid to say was hoping for a move that might help both teams And given slats tie to e town maybe theirs a way?

  • Jaxon

    I like Talbot as a possible solution. Nothing is 100% of course, but he’s about as good a bet as you can get. Rangers had a great team but poor Faceoff% this season. How about Gordon, who we will probably lose at the trade deadline anyway, goalie Zach Nagelvoort who is from New Jersey and had a .929% at UMich prior to this year, Jordon Oesterle and the Oilers 117th pick for G Cam Talbot, RW Richard Nejezchleb, who had an NHLE of 24pts this season and the Rangers 89th pick and RD Dan Boyle as an offsetting contract dump. It would save the Rangers almost 3 million in cap and address their faceoff weakness. At the deadline we might get a draft pick in the 45-60 range at the upper end but more likely a 75-90 pick for Gordon, which is what we get here as well. So if you subtract gordon for 89th pick, the trade is basically a very fringe prospect in Nagelvoort, a decent prospect in Oesterle and the 117th pick for Talbot, Boyle and a solid RW prospect in Nejezchleb. The Oilers turn around and trade Boyle for a 3rd or 4th round pick at this years deadline and have one good 3/4 season from Boyle in the meantime. Thoughts?

  • nuge2drai

    Oiler Domination To Follow

    I would be a little hesitant to give up too much for Talbot.

    The Ranger Defense is not comparable to the Oilers, possibly inflating Talbots save percentages.

    Staal, McDonough, Girardi, Yandle, Boyle

    Shultz, Klefbom, Nikitin, Ference, Fayne

    I think it’s logical to assume Talbot would not have the same success playing in front of this defense.

    • HarryB

      totally agree Ny way better D but doesn’t change the fact that talbot is better than both options they have at this point I think tending cost them at least ten of their games last year

  • Jaxon

    My favourite part of this discussion is the absolute certainty that a 27 year old back-up with one year on his contract is the long-term answer, or that anyone that’s left at 16 will likely be a bust.

    If you’re going to trade 16, at least do it for a proven top-4 defenceman or an elite defensive prospect who can start next year. (Or trade up).

  • jonnyquixote

    Does Murray Pam work for The Hockey News, or does he submit articles for a blog called “Hockey News Ottawa?” A search of The Hockey News website for his name comes up a big zero. This is something to check out before endorsing his “16th for Talbot” deal.

    I think you’ve mis-framed the value placed on the 16th overall as “magic beans.” I don’t think the fanbase in general is loathe to trade that pick. But in this deep draft, that pick should get more than Cam Talbot in trade. The Oilers have successfully chased flashy stats backups before, and it didn’t cost them anything resembling a 16th overall. Now, maybe Talbot is worth more than the 3rd rounder it took to get Scrivens from the Kings… but not that much, right? Remember: flashy-stats backups are also kind of magic beans in their own right.

  • Gordie Wayne

    The Oilers cannot win the trade of 16th overall for Talbot unless Talbot turns into a top 10 goalie for at least a 5 year period which is a real long shot.

    Why you say???

    Just take your example of who went from 15th to 20th.

    With the benefit of hindsight, most fans and media will say something like the Oilers could have had a Getzlaf or Parise or Burns (ignoring the fact that they could have had one of those other bums), but instead they gambled on Talbot.

    If it comes down to a goalie or the 16th pick, they have to make the pick…if they make the wrong pick, everyone will just blame the scouts, but if they make the right one, we will have a really nice piece for 10 to 12 years.