Yesterday a few Oilers staff, players, and alumni participated in the Oil Country Celebrity Pro-Am golf tournament. It was fun seeing the pictures all day long but what I was really waiting for was the post-round interview that always happens with the players.
After the golf, the media chatted with Cam Talbot to discuss his offseason, his thoughts on the team changes, and his outlook on next year. After his disappointing season last year, all eyes are on Cam this coming season and I’m really looking forward to watching if he bounces back.
Cam sounds ecstatic to get the season going and I couldn’t agree with him more. Check out the interview below and let me know your thoughts in the comments!
What have you been up to this offseason?
I’ve been spending a lot of time with the family. It’s been a long one unfortunately but it’s given me time to spend some time with the kids and get away a little bit. I’ve been having a lot of fun with them, watching them grow and chasing them around the house. It keeps me in shape that’s for sure.
Were you able to shut things off immediately after the season?
After a season like that it’s tough to unwind and settle down. I took some time away, went and visited my wife’s family and got away out of the city for a bit. Came back refreshed, focussed, and ready to get back at it.
I love hearing stories from NHL players how they absolutely cannot watch any NHL playoffs if they’re not playing in them. I wonder if Cam watched Ovi lift the cup? Or if he was one of those guys who shuts off the tv for the remainder of the postseason.
What has to change this year?
We need to get off to a better start. Last year we put ourselves behind the 8 ball right away, getting off to a start like we did a couple years ago puts you in a good spot and gets the confidence high right off the bat. Our start is a huge focus and that starts in training camp. Guys are getting ready to come back to town soon and they’re going to be fired up and ready to go. We don’t want a repeat of last year and everyone knows that.
Thoughts on the long road trip to start the season?
Anytime you can get a long road trip like that to start the season, guys are always together. You’re on the airplane, in the hotel rooms. It’s just a fun time to be away with the guys. Obviously hockey is the main focus, but you always have to focus on those team gatherings and build a good rapport with everyone around in the room, and it gives the new guys a chance to get everyone else that’s been around for a while.
This gets me excited cause it seems like every player on the team is looking forward to this big trip. I recently wrote about Kris Russell’s response to this same question. If the players are excited about it, then I’m excited about it!
What do you think of the coaching staff changes and the new player additions?
I like everything that we’ve been able to do this summer. I’ve already talked to a couple of the new coaches, they’ve called to introduce themselves. I like the new direction that everything is going. We’ve added some veteran leadership in certain roles. I think everything’s going come together nicely, we have our core group back. Everything we’ve been able to do just compliments the guys that have already been here. I’m looking forward to getting going.
I like thinking about the new coaches calling all the players to introduce themselves. That’s a good show of professionalism and camaraderie. It’d be awkward if they forgot to call someone?
Have you talked to Mikko Koskinen yet?
I played against him a couple years ago in the World Championships. I know he’s a big boy, one heck of a goalie so it’s going to be good internal competition for me and I’m looking forward to working with him.
I’m looking forward to learning more about Koskinen. I hope he becomes a really fun character in the dressing room and with the media. Edmonton needs more players like that.
Is it good to have someone like him to push you?
That’s always good. Anytime you get that internal competition it just pushes everyone to be better. If you develop a good relationship with the guy that’s even better because you’re still always rooting for each other to do well.
This past summer involved a lot of changes to our goaltending system. We are stacked to the ceiling with goaltender prospects and if that doesn’t light a fire in Talbot and put some pressure on him then I don’t know what will. It will be good to get some competition going in our farm teams as well.
“Was it off-putting.. [inaudible].. that you’re paying two and a half million for a backup?”
*record scratch* Wait, what? I can’t believe someone actually asked this question? I mean I know it’s summer and all but that’s a pretty ballsy question to ask a player. Of course Cam handled it with nothing but class, but my mouth dropped when I heard this.
I like the competition. I enjoy it. It just pushes everyone to be better, and maybe it will take a little bit of games away from me and I can be on top of my game.
What do you have to do to get back to the top of your game?
I finished the way I had my season two years ago so down the stretch I felt as good as I had all season long so I just need to pick up where I left off. I need to have a good start so the rest of the team can have a good start. I’m focussed on that right now.
Overall I have a really good feeling about Cam Talbot this year. *knocks on wood* We know what he’s capable of doing on the ice, and I strongly believe that he’s motivated and has the skill to do it again. Is it October yet?
Cam Talbot career stats
|2013-14||New York Rangers||NHL||21||1211||33||3||1.64||12||6||1||527||0.941||2|
|2014-15||New York Rangers||NHL||36||2095||77||3||5||2.21||21||9||4||961||0.926||–||–||–|