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Photo Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

WWYDW: Cam Talbot’s next contract

There’s no way around it — Cam Talbot has had a bad season. He’s at the top of the list of disappointments among this group that has ultimately massively underperformed expectations. After his first two seasons with the club and a 2016-17 season in which he finished fourth in Vezina Trophy voting, starting goaltending was never an issue that crossed the minds of Oilers fans.

But Talbot has struggled mightily this year. For the season, he has a .907 save percentage in 62 games. He’s posted just one shutout and he’s allowed the most goals of any goalie in the league. This, of course, is shocking given how good he had been in his career before this season. Last year, he posted a .919 save percentage in a whopping 73 games, and in the previous three seasons, he averaged a .924 save percentage with the Oilers and Rangers. So it isn’t like he just randomly popped out of nowhere in 2016-17. He had been quite good before.

That brings us to this week’s What Would You Do Wednesday question. How do you handle Talbot’s next contract? He’s signed for one more year before he can hit the open market. At this point last year, it seemed like a no-brainer he should be inked long-term. But is that still the case after this year’s showing?

Jan 7, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks right wing Ryan Hartman (38) shoots on Edmonton Oilers goalie Cam Talbot (33) with defenseman Kris Russell (4) defending during the first period at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Talbot is signed for one more season at a very team-friendly $4,166,667 cap hit. Peter Chiarelli inked Talbot to that three-year extension back in January 2016, just a few months into the goaltender’s tenure as an Oiler. Despite not having a massive track record, the Oilers put faith into Talbot, and, save for this season, it’s paid off.

While the down season is tremendously disappointing, it could provide the team an opportunity to get Talbot signed to an extension at a lower price than he would have been able to command had he matched his 2016-17 season. Like I said, Talbot is set to hit the open market on July 1, 2019, meaning the Oilers have all summer and next season to work on an extension with him if they please.

Personally, I’m of the mind that Talbot is still the goalie of the future. He’s been largely excellent throughout his career and he’s struggled this year. I believe a large chunk of that has to do with the team in front of him. The blueline is noticeably worse in the defensive zone this year, which is inevitable given the injuries to Andrej Sekera and Oscar Klefbom. I would rather bank on the 180 games he played in his first four years than the 60 he played this year to determine who he is as a player.

It’s also really difficult to find a goalie. Between Talbot and the team’s last good goalie Dwayne Roloson, we rotated through guys like Ben Scrivens, Viktor Fasth, Ilya Bryzgalov, Devan Dubnyk, Jeff Deslauriers, and Nikolai Khabibulin. The free agent market doesn’t have many enticing names either, unless you’re willing to wait until 2019 to throw a bunch of money at Sergei Bobrovsky or Pekka Rinne. So even if the Oilers decide Talbot isn’t their guy, it’s difficult to find a superior replacement.

What say you, Nation? Is Talbot still the goalie of the future? Does he have to prove it next year? Or should he be signed to an extension this summer? 


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  • Edmontoncanucks

    Ditch him!! Poor play at the beginning of last year almost destroyed the playoff hopes. This year was a repeat…waste the first 20 games every year and you will miss the playoffs 9/10.

  • Dapper Dan 3099

    I love seeing how dumb some people get when they’re emotional…. “get rid of Talbot” and the classic follow up of get a real starter…. ok who? …. holy man, the usual gaggle of idiots were the same ones that claimed that mcdavid isn’t worth his contract and should be traded, and drai should be dumped for a bad of pucks…. that’s right guys let’s trade or get rid of our best players (cuz that’s obviously the problem here)

    • jultz=2cups!??

      It’s pretty clear real oiler fans are being trolled by guys like kneedroptalbot, randaman, schultzandscores and that beer guy. None of them ever have anything good to say. It’s always “TRADETHEMALL” or “I’m quitting this team” with those guys. I can tell spyder is a fan, he just hates talbot and eberle for some reason. ?

      • Randaman

        So how does not being a Talbot supporter make me a troll? I don’t expect or accept mediocrity like you do. It’s pretty sad how an opposing opinion makes people trolls just because we refuse to put the blinders on like you do. Go back to your basement!

        • Dapper Dan 3099

          No need to get so pissy…if you want to talk hockey, I’m all for it (even if you disagree) just don’t be one of these trade everyone, or we need to get other teams stars for our bums suggestions…..So I’m curious who do you replace him with that would not be settling for mediocrity… I understand and agree that we shouldn’t settle for mediocrity, but you have to have a plan in place to replace certain players….just shipping everyone out will not only make the team continue to be the laughing stock of the league, but the half decent players will not even consider coming here because of the “one bad season and you’re out” rule…. I think talbot is the best option for us next year (at this time) (although I think he would play better if he had someone challenging him) … if he stinks up the joint next year, then you see what you’re other options are to replace him

  • 1ncinawhile

    I believe Talbot will have a better season next year – I’m not ready to give up on him. He’s still young. His consistency will improve, and we will see more of the good goaltending than the bad…

    • ubermiguel

      Talbot’s 30, not exactly young. Part way through next year we’ll have a better idea if Talbot is the goalie we saw this year, or the one we saw previous years. He’s been inconsistent enough though even if he improves I don’t think he deserves much of a raise from his current salary. $4.1M puts him comfortably in with other 2nd tier goalies.

        • Kneedroptalbot

          Too Inconsistent, cost us the Anaheim series last year. 3 goals in less the 5 mins then one in OT. Was a big reason this season was wasted too. Team will never be a Stanley Cup contender until we find consistent goaltending.

          • jultz=2cups!??

            So by your logic, a 5 min span cost a hockey TEAM, a 7 game playoff series?? No fault lies with the rest of the TEAM?? And you’re also implying that over his career that because of that 5 minute span that he is an inconsistent goalie?? ?. That’s just ridiculous. 5 minutes of hockey does not define a goalie. I guarantee you don’t actually watch oiler games because cam was anything but inconsistent last year. Like I said to spyder earlier, don’t let your personal bias get in the way of facts. Cam has had a down year as have the rest of the team except Mcdavid, drai, nurse and Russell. There’s not a goalie in the world that could have willed this team into the playoffs

        • Oilman99

          No blame on Talbot last year, with a NHL quality defence I’m not so sure his stats would be nearly as bad. Shame on you for laying the blame on him alone. The guy will prove you wrong. Just like Dubie did after he was dumped.

      • 1ncinawhile

        Sorry, you’re right – he isn’t young… I guess what I was meaning was, for a goalie he isn’t old, and he is a fairly new NHL starter… I agree with you though, the question is: which is the Talbot we get next year? (This year’s or last year’s Talbot)… some would argue there isn’t much a difference in the two

  • Himynameistaylor

    Dude has started 133 games and counting over the past two years and is a new father, but ya let’s trade one of the three guys who dragged this roster to the second round of the post season because he’s had a difficult season, LOL.

    Never change, Oilersnation.

        • Hemmercules

          Talbot has one good season as the starter and one bad season as the starter. He’s done pretty well coming in as the backup in NY but I venture to guess that their defence at the time was leaps and bounds ahead of Edmontons at the time and probably even now. I like Talbot but don’t give him the moon for one awesome season, and if true starter is available they should try to land him.

          • acesaaron

            I’d keep him on. He is a decent goalie on a reasonable contract and will likely not command a huge raise. If you cut him loose after 1 bad season, I guarantee you that he’s going to be Dubnyk 2.0 and challenge for the Vezina on a few years #becauseoilers

  • AlexTheOilersFanSince2006

    BRING HIM BACK! BRING HIM BACK! I’m tired of people being run out of this town just because of one bad season. Talbot had a rough start, but he recovered well in 2015/2016. Last season, he was a workhorse, setting a new franchise record for wins by a goalie whilst being our MVP (people say it was McDavid, but he’s put up more points this season and the team isn’t making the playoffs). This season hasn’t gone well and I think it was the workload last season that wore him out. And are you all seriously blaming him for the loss in game 5? He made 60 saves that game. That’s like blaming James Reimer for Toronto blowing Game 7 vs Boston. But hey, when all else fails, blame the goalie am I right?

  • McFanboy

    Is it fair to write off LB as a future option at this point? He’s still relatively young for a goaltender at 25. I agree he hasn’t looked good so far, but is there any chance he could still develop into a capable backup?