Oilers re-sign Cam Talbot


It looks like Cam Talbot has done enough to be entrusted with goaltending duties in Edmonton over the long haul. As per multiple reports Sunday morning, the club has given the pending free agent a contract extension, for three years and with an annual value just over 4.0 million. 

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Talbot’s overall save percentage on the season is a respectable 0.914, a figure which ranks him 22nd of the 34 goaltenders to play in at least 20 games this year. That ties him with Martin Jones, puts him one point up on Antti Niemi and one point back of Frederik Andersen, Steve Mason and Tuukka Rask (who had a miserable start to the year). 

The breakdown is pretty interesting in that he’s been great on the penalty kill and not so hot at even-strength:

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  • His 0.907 save percentage in 4-on-5 situations ranks 7th of the 30 goalies to play at least 100 minutes.
  • His 0.911 save percentage in 5-on-5 situations ranks 27th of the 27 goalies to play at least 1000 minutes. 

Of course, one generally doesn’t make decisions based entirely on the short-term. Talbot’s career numbers are significantly better than what he’s managed this season:

  • Over his three-year career, he has a 0.927 save percentage in 5-on-5 situations. Of the 62 goalies to play at least 1,500 minutes over that span, he ranks 21st. 
  • Over his three-year career, he has a 0.920 save percentage in 4-on-5 situations. Of the 58 goalies to play at least 200 minutes over that span, nobody has performed better. 

If Talbot’s new deal were to begin today, he’d rank 24th among goalies league-wide in terms of compensation, which seems about right, just ahead of Jonathan Bernier and his $4.15 million contract. If he can provide the Oilers with the kind of bottom-third starter play that his even-strength numbers suggest, that’s probably fair value. 

If he’s a legitimate starting goalie, Edmonton wins this deal comfortably for the next three years. If his even-strength numbers this year are a sign of what is to come, Edmonton loses this deal badly. Right now, all we can really say is that this deal isn’t a discount and carries some risk but also has a chance of paying off.

The Oilers have seen two versions of Talbot. He had a 0.897 save percentage over 10 games in October and a 0.864 save percentage over three games in November, losing his job to Anders Nilsson. He had a 0.934 save percentage over seven games in December and a 0.942 save percentage over six games in January, winning that job back again. It may be that there was an adjustment to being a starter and to playing in Edmonton; it may also be that he’s an average or below average goalie who hit a cold run but is now on a hot streak. 

We’ll just have to wait and see whether this gamble pays off. 

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  • Borbs

    Man, Gregor called it on the radio the other day. He told Rishaug he could see the Oil resigning him at around 4 million per. Rishaug was mighty skeptical. Gregor, nice call. Rishaug, you owe him a beer or two! I think this is the perfect amount of time for Talbot to be here while L.B.studies as a backup.

  • Cain

    Signing Talbot – great, beating Calgary – wonderful, seeing the look on the faces of Bennett and Gaudreau when they missed their shootout shots – PRICELESS!!!!

    • Jay (not J)

      Didn’t Dubnyk get traded twice and called out for not practicing enough to improve his game? Hindsight is 20/20. Dubnyk has Sean Burke to thank for saving his career. Funny how people forget about Nashville and Montreal also not wanting him.

  • Jay (not J)

    They are going to drive this team into Cap Hell!
    This is a bit of an overpay, as he also got a million as a signing bonus. This is Dubnyk money , with shorter term.

  • Jay (not J)

    This is very very cool. Talbot has been proving himself consistently over a stretch where the rest of the team has been having trouble. It would have been a shame to see him move at the deadline. 4 million is not extravagant for a starter and they should be able to afford to keep a good backup in the fold. Great signing! He earned it.

    • hagar

      Talbot looked like a bust until Anders had a few bad games and Talbot needed to play.

      I hope for the best, but don’t see why they needed to make this signing so soon. They could have had a look at Talbot for another 18 games to see how his play averages out over the majority of the season.

          • fran huckzky

            Just becauseSam was overpaid it doesn’t mean that for eternity management needs to sit on their hands because they are afraid to make a mistake. I believe it is called being proactive whereas you seem to prefer the inactive approach. You must have been really sad to see Tambellini go.

          • hagar

            So I must be a Tambo lover because I think the oilers have another month and a bit to watch Talbot play before the trade deadline?

            I didn’t say run the guy until the end of the season before making an offer.

          • fran huckzky

            He was a UFA. Let him wait another month and maybe he decides to wait til July and see what other offers are available. What are you going to do then Mr Dithers? Do you not think That Chia and Todd have not been watching him every day for the past four months?

      • Jay (not J)

        And if he played out the season the way he’s played the last 2 months someone else else offers him more than 4 million and the Oilers are back in the wilderness. Talbot might be playing behind a half decent team in a couple of weeks and he will have ample opportunity to have a good ballance of the season. Putting his contract to rest now takes him out of deadline deal discussions and helps lock down the roster going forward. It also keeps him reasonably priced.

  • Kevwan

    If this is a full NMC for the first 2 years then I don’t like that clause. I can see a limited trade but not a full no movement. Talbot has 77 career starts – it’s not totally inconceivable that he could still have struggles going forward.

    NHL teams should keep the option to waive and send players to the minors.

  • Rem99

    It’s not a huge over pay and carries some risk but a welcome signing IMO because of the term – 3 years. I really like the combination that many teams use to having 1 goalie that’s your mid term mainstay and have your backup as a younger goalie that can potentially be a number 1, not the veteran backup with limited upside. Talbot and LB with an improved D, has the makings of a great combo in the next 3 years.

  • Chipper

    This signing reminds me of last summer when ON ran a bunch of articles about how goaltending was the real culprit.

    Once they fix the goaltending the team would take a leap. Talbot would be a great trade. Maybe this is one of those deals that looks better once they have added a few quality defenders when the time is just right, and they add another top-3 pick.

    Right now it’s underwhelming. Beating the Flames once doesn’t make this a great signing.

    • Dwayne Roloson 35

      I dont think anyone said goaltending was the real problem. We all know defence is the issue. It doesn’t even have to be brought up at this point

      • bazmagoo

        Do some googling then. A lot of commentators here were pointing fingers at Sievins and Fasth, and people whining about Dubnyk being nominated for a Vezina.

        Talbot would be the answer. Look at his stats for playing behind the President Trophy-winning team. He’ll be awesome in Edmonton. He was brutal to start the season, better this month.

  • S cottV

    Yeah that broadcast was pretty bad overall for CBC last night.

    I did love Elliotte Friedman challenging Nick ‘Vanity’ Kypreos’ sloppy commentary during the studio analyst session.

  • a lg dubl dubl

    I took a stab at how to get a Stud Defenseman under the cap assuming it remains the same at 71.4M.

    Mcdavid and Nurse are into there 2nd contacts at the start of the 2018/19 year.

    The cap could work like this:

    1st line – McDavid-9M, Yak-3M, Pouliot4M

    2nd line – Drai-5M, Hall-6M, RNH-6M

    3rd line – Letestu-1.8M, Kassian -1.5M, Pakerenin-1M

    4th line – Lander-1M, Kaha1-1M, Slepshev-.9M

    2 spare forwards at 1M each.

    1st pair – Stud D-7M, Sekera-5,.5M

    2nd pair – Nurse-4.167, Klef-4.167

    3rd pair – Davidson-1.4, Gryba-1.250

    Spare – Reinhardt-1

    Cap is 71.4M

    That means Eberle or a forward contract at 6m would have to go.

    Please exchange the players for your choices – for example move Letestu for another center at 1.8M but the posting is to examine the cap and can the oilers afford a 7M d and how many of the core forwards can they keep.

    • Serious Gord

      Where’s the goalies?

      Edit: never mind.

      Nurse and klefbom did less than five? Pouliot still on the first line ?

      Reinhart a bust. Rnh a middling six mill winger?

      And lander – no goals for 200 games by then.

      Hard to see how this team is competitive.

      • The Last Of Barrett's Privateers

        I think you just hit it right there Gord, I concede the cap Would be a problem but given this year looking from bottom to top you can almost see what ChiaPete has to do.


        Fayne gone 3.5
        Ference gone 3.2
        Schultz gone 3.9
        Gryba gone 1.25
        Hunt 600

        Call it 11


        Purcell 4.5
        I don’t see Hedricks here next year 1.8
        Lander 1
        Gazdic 800

        Call it 7

        That’s without dumping Eberle – Pouliot – or RNH

        Given what Pouliot brings, I think ChiaPete looks at dumping him first.
        Eberle second and if he has to RNH last.

        That’s an additional 16.

        I think that pretty accurate at what the Oilers have to dump, I’d also say Korpikoski has to go but will see.

        • fran huckzky

          Not to be too big of a nerd, but when you’re subtracting players off next year’s cap, you also have to remember that some players are going to get raises.

          Klefbom goes from 0.863 to 4.167

          Talbot goes from 1.450 to 4.166

          Davidson is going to get a raise from 0.585.

          Pakarinen would probably get a raise.

          You’d also keep in mind that replacement players often cost the same, or more.

          Gadzic in a 13th forward role is gone, so you replace him with someone from Bakersfield. Most of the forwards in Bakersfield earn more than Gadzic.

          Replace Hunt’s 0.600. Hunt’s 0.600 would be the lowest salary in Bakersfield, so anyone replacing Hunt is going to cost more.

          Lander makes 1.05m as a 4th forward/PK/FO specialist. Anyone you replace him with is going to earn just about the same. At most you’re saving 100,000, but you could just as likely pay more.

          • The Last Of Barrett's Privateers

            Klefbom salary is already rated to next year’s cap it’s included in the Humber so no you don’t have to add numbers already plugged in.

            Next year’s Cap us at 52 million included is Klefboms.

            I concede Talbots salary as it obviously wasn’t uploaded yet.

            Problem with the bottom tear is you can say buy to Klinkhammer and replace him with J.J Kahara and probably not lose much but salary.

            As far as Gazdic goes you don’t need to replace his body, as you’ve mentioned he’s a 13 th forward and not there for much.

            As for Lander you can keep him and Letestu and still lose Hendricks or keep Hendricks and lose Lander.

            My point was the Oilers can dump and trade, still be well under for a run at a coupl players.

      • stonedtodeath61

        Exactly, just goes to show the difficulty of running a team in the cap world.

        The players at the top of the pile, about 4 forwards, 1 or 2 defensemen and a goalie have to carry the load.

  • bazmagoo

    Overpay in my mind. I was thinking we might get Talbot for 2 years and 2 million per season, lol. Can’t see what he’s done to deserve this, I think he still has a lot to prove. Looks to me Nilsson will be gone at the deadline maybe, Brossoit will be the back up next season. $4.167 is too much, and 3 seasons is too long.

    • bazmagoo

      The no movement clause really sticks out to me too. One of the only good things MacT/Tambi/Lowe did was sign our supposed “core” to deals that didn’t have movement clauses in them. I’m disappointed in Chiarelli.

      • For Pete's Sake!

        The reason is because it costs more US$ to get a guy to sign without a NMC.

        Have you seen what’s been happening to our dollar lately? I’m sure there’s already pressure from ownership to keep these contracts as cheap as possible.

        It hasn’t been talked about much on ON, but our low Canadian dollar is going to start having an effect on the team.

        Katz may be rich but as we’ve seen in his negotiations with the City of Edmonton, he is careful with his money.

        Edmonton is a small market town, our economy is bad, a lot of companies are hurting in this city and there may be some corporate season ticket cancellations next year.

        Time to take off the rose colored glasses Oiler fans. Money is always an issue. Even for Daryl Katz.

        • bazmagoo

          If money is an issue for Katz then we shouldn’t be overpaying for a career backup goalie that hasn’t proven he’s a legitimate NHL starter. This is a very risky move by Chiarelli in my opinion.

          • For Pete's Sake!

            True. This is a risky move by Chia. But he obviously believes in Talbot. Hopefully his gamble turns out for the Oilers and for Chia’s sake.

            And for us of course. God, how many bad goalie decisions have we had to suffer through in the last few years?

          • bazmagoo

            “And for us of course. God, how many bad goalie decisions have we had to suffer through in the last few years?”

            Way too many! I really hope Talbot proves the naysayers, including me, wrong. G’oilers!

        • Jay (not J)

          Im pretty sure that Katz has committed to being a cap team for the foreseeable future. Also the CBA has low CDN$ contingencies. If the Red Wings have been able to remain a competitive hockey team in Detroit for the last 20 years, surely the Oilers can thrive in Edmonton.

        • 916oiler

          I wouldn’t worry to much about that. Remember not so long ago when the Canadian $ was worth more than the US $. ? Don’t you think that a smart business man , who also happens to be a billionaire (katz) wouldn’t have bought all the US currency he could with his canadian $ at that time ?

  • Shameless Plugger

    I like the deal. In all reality it’s maybe a $600 000 overpayment. I was expecting something in the neighbourhood of 3.5 per. This is Edmonton and not Anahiem or Florida. So you’re going to have to overpay to get/keep guys. We have a starting goalie, who in my eyes has steadied his game and slowly improved throughout the year.

    Now on to finding a minute cruncher dman………

  • #97Train/McDavidCopperfield

    You people make me laugh. We let Petry walk for nothing and everybody is mad as hell. Now we sign a guy before he becomes a UFA and you are all mad.

  • toprightcorner

    I now Understand why Chairelli kept MacT around.

    PC to MacT: what do you think we should do with Talbot?

    MacT to PC: I would publicly tell the fans that we are not sure and that Talbot and Nilsson still need to prove that they can be a starter.

    PC to MacT: I thought you might say that. That’s why I am signing him tonight.

    Everyday PC plays opposite day with MacT.

  • bazmagoo

    Save percentage is a vital stat for evaluating goaltenders but it also has its limitations. Sometimes backups have inflated numbers because they only play against weaker opponents, for example. And for comparisons against other goalies league wide it does not account for per game shooting volume or shot quality. As any Oiler fan knows the team’s shoddy defence allows far more quality shots than most other teams. I have no doubt that Talbot’s .914 save percentage equals a higher percentage playing for a better defensive team that allows fewer 10 bell chances and clears more juicy rebounds, but it is hard to suggest a precise number.
    At any rate, I love this signing. It is taking a bit of a chance but with free agency looming it is a smart move.

    • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

      I agree with a lot of what you’ve said. The Oilers give up a lot of high-danger scoring chances. In fact, they are no better preventing high danger scoring chances under McLellan as they were under Eakins.

      So for both Talbot and Nilsson to have much better save percentages reflect well on them. Given that he is 28, and LB is only 21, I think the term is decent. I think NMCs are terrible in general. What if the real Talbot is the October/November Talbot? I think $3.5 is fine, but $4.17 is an over-pay given his wins.

  • Jay (not J)

    The Oilers have made a good move signing Talbot. Our goalie stable looks chuck full of quality and potential.

    Having McDavid & Klefbom back is going to be interesting for some meaningful games this spring. It will also help Talbot.

    Sign AN for a couple of years. He has value as a back up and in the right trade. Gads we got a first round pick player for Scrivens so the sky’s the limit for AN in a swap.

  • The Last Of Barrett's Privateers

    The Oil have one of the worst D in the league. One of the biggest problems is the high quality of scoring changes which they give up (look at last nights game for e.g.). Even so, at 0.914 he is still in the middle of G in the league. IF we can fix our D and reduce the quality of chances then IMHO his save % increases which increases his value. Clearly management sees his potential under a better team and wanted to lock him up. If he walks, we are in trouble.

  • 916oiler

    I have to say, after analyzing the numbers in the offseason, one small bad stretch at the start of the year isn’t going to sway my support of Talbot!

    Keep flashin that leather Talbo!!