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Photo Credit: Walter Tychnowicz-USA TODAY Sports

Cam Talbot reportedly available for trade

There’s no doubt that Mikko Koskinen has taken the net from Cam Talbot at this point. Talbot hasn’t won a game in a month and the Oilers have been riding the hot hand of Koskinen as he’s started in four of the team’s past six games. I imagine he’ll be playing against Los Angeles and Vegas this week too.

To further compound this, it appears the Oilers might be looking to move on from Talbot. According to Frank Seravalli, the Oilers have made Talbot available for trade.

Both Talbot and Koskinen are eligible to hit free agency this summer. Talbot currently carries a $4,166,667 cap hit from the three-year extension he signed mid-way through his first season in Edmonton back in 2015-16. Koskinen has a $2.5 million cap hit from the one-year deal he inked when the Oilers signed him out of the KHL last summer.

Talbot had a rough time last year and things haven’t gotten better this year. He has a .889 save percentage in 15 games and, as I said earlier, hasn’t won a game in a month. In his first two seasons with the Oilers, Talbot was excellent. He posted .917 and .919 save percentages and played a key role in helping the Oilers reach the playoffs. But he’s struggled in the past year-and-a-half, ultimately resulting in him losing his starting gig.

How would a trade involving Talbot go down? Maybe the Oilers could look to deal Talbot for another soon-to-be UFA goalie along with a sweetener. For example, the Red Wings have Jimmy Howard rolling with a .922 save percentage. Maybe Talbot and a pick or a prospect could get a deal done. Further on that idea, maybe the Oilers could do something involving Detroit’s soon-to-be UFA winger Gustav Nyqvist while they’re at it.

If not that, maybe Talbot gets used in a deal for a top-six winger, which is probably at the top of Edmonton’s needs right now. I can’t remember the last time I saw a goalie dealt mid-season for a top-six winger, though. Generally, when goalies are dealt, it’s done so for picks and prospects. That seems to make the most sense here. If the Oilers can get prospect and pick capital for Talbot, it gives them more ammo to make a deadline rental acquisition to fill another hole on the roster.

Trading Talbot certainly comes with a risk. As great as Koskinen has been, it’s a very small sample size. We’ve seen Ben Scrivens and Anders Nilsson perform well here in recent years in small sample sizes and then fall off a cliff. Dumping Talbot, unless another goalie is coming back, puts Edmonton in a position in which Koskinen is the guy and Al Montoya is the line of defence beyond him. That’s a lot of pressure on a goalie without a track record.

  • Gravis82

    Cam, which teams in the league are hurting for a goaltender right now? That would be a good place to start.

    Ok, Ill start. Situation not great right now in Van, Ott, Mon. Talbot could be seen as needing a change of scenery. Would either of those teams have someone to trade? Want to bring in a new face? Have cap room?

    • Not sure any of those three teams make sense. Vancouver and Ottawa are rebuilding and not planning to make the playoffs, and Vancouver has Thatcher Demko waiting in the wings. Montreal has $10 million invested in Price and can’t afford to pay another $4 million for a struggling former #1.

      The Hurricanes, Penguins, and Flyers are all teams that have playoff aspirations, are all in the Eastern conference, and have all had mediocre-to-terrible goaltending to start the season. Those are the teams the Oilers should be targeting if they want to move on from Talbot.

  • Serious Gord

    This seems very rash. Koskinen is unproven. As I stated on another thread – just play one until they lose a game and then put the other guy in repeat repeat.

  • GK1980

    Nip nope nope. Way too early to consider a trade yet. Koskinen has been good but he has not even played a season yet. Typical oilers. Brutal to even consider it. Can’t afford another “chia” trade.

  • Elgando

    Addition by subtraction imo. He’s a fine man but two seasons in a row sub .900 isn’t gonna cut it. At 4+ Mill per year, he’s an asset worth flipping for a pick and/or prospect.. With the benefit of saving cap space to boot.

  • Ko-D

    Show some loyalty!! Help get Cams game back, even if that is in Bakersfield for a bit. Oilers are the kings of selling low on players. Why is Chiarelli still making decisions in Edmonton?

  • Shaun Doe

    I wonder if it might be a wise choice to sign Cam to a one year “show me” contract and hope he rebounds to some degree. Worst case scenario he continues to struggle. Best case he rebounds and signs an extension or becomes a trade chip for next season. We know he can be a back up at the very least from his time in new York.

    • cityofchampions

      Talbots in his contract year now, this is when he should be “proving it” if he wants to get a big payday. I agree time to move on, but we wouldn’t get much back now. Give Talbot the easier back-to-back games now until the trade deadline, hope his numbers improve, and try to unload him to a team that is desperate for a proven back-up (or starter in case of injury) for the playoff run.

    • cityofchampions

      Talbots in his contract year now, this is when he should be “proving it” if he wants to get a big payday. I agree time to move on, but we wouldn’t get much back now. Give Talbot the easier back-to-back games now until the trade deadline, hope his numbers improve, and try to unload him to a team that is desperate for a proven back-up (or starter in case of injury) for the playoff run.

  • Hockeytalkguy

    Seravalli stirring the pot again. Go to TSN website & read what he wrote about Talbot. He can’t even get his facts straight. Don’t have much respect for this reporter. Like Trump would say……”FAKE NEWS”.

    • Hemmercules

      “Like Murray, it would’ve been unfathomable 18 months ago that Talbot would be available. The Oilers’ workhorse appeared to be their long-term answer after a Vezina-quality season that led them to Game 7 of the second round in 2017. Now, Talbot seems like a netminder in need of a classic change of scenery. New coach Ken Hitchcock seemed to send a strong message about Talbot’s future role when he started Mikko Koskinen in his first two games behind the bench. Talbot’s numbers are a bit clouded behind the lack of support in front of him and the high-danger mistakes the Oilers allow on a nightly basis, but that doesn’t also explain why Koskinen has been seemingly unaffected with a .923 save percentage. The Oilers aren’t in a hurry to move Talbot, but his availability will come into clearer focus as February approaches.”……Seravalli.

      I don’t like Seravalli all that much but I think what he wrote was almost bang on. No?

  • toprightcorner

    Seravlli is a moron. No chance the Oilers trade Talbot now. Kostkinen is palying well, but it has hardly been long enough to declare he can be a solid starter for 60 more games.

    Come talk to me near the trade deadline, if Kostkinen is playing 65%+ of the games and doing well, then trade Talbot to a contender with goalie issues or injuries for a 2nd round pick.

    • ed from edmonton

      This is revisionist history. Dubnyk was such as mess when he left the Oil he was letting in 6 goals a night with the defensively excellent Predators. He ended up that season on the bench in the AHL. Luckily he crossed paths with the goalie whisperer (Sean Burke) when in Phoenix and his career turned around.

  • rivid

    Before they trade talbot, they should be fire the goalie coach. Why is it goalies eventually suck more here and begin to inherit bad tendencies? It might be time to look at this as an option as well.

    • Hemmercules

      ^ This.

      Talbot was really good a couple years ago, WTF happened?? For the record I never thought Talbot was going to be the long term solution but he fell off harder than expected. I hope he can turn it around and be a good tandem with Koskinen before they trade him away but the rumours suggest they want to get rid of him if they can sooner than later.

      • Div 13 superstar

        I’m surprised that Schwartz survived the assistant coach purge, and now that Cam continues to struggle there seems no discussion of looking at this coaching position. I would love to Hitch bring in a different goalie coach. BUT… I’ve never been a goalie and I’m not sure that a goalie would want their coach changed mid-season.

    • ed from edmonton

      But he’s doing a great job helping big K adapt to the NHL game. Seriously any goalie coach not named Sean Burke is a black box. i.e. none even knows what they do.

    • Ohlyr

      Dustin Swartz has done a very nice job with Koskinen adapting to the small NHL ice and working on angles.
      It’s not fair to always use the weak defense and coaching as an excuse for 2 seasons of Talbots problems.

  • Flint

    This is the correct move, IF you can recoup anything for Talbot. He’s going to be an UFA at the seasons end, and the Oilers need serious help now. Actually, not now, but yesterday. If they can shed his contract and gain some cap space to do anything with. Hell, even take back a bad contract in the midterm…. here’s looking at you Wayne Simmonds (UFA & cause Philly is in goalie trouble)… or Carolina since Darling was just put on waivers. They have Ferland, and Martinook coming up UFAs…. although likely won’t want to spilt with either.

    It’s tough to do, but if they can they should move Talbot before the season is lost.