With continued strong play, Cam Talbot’s future must be away from New York

January 21, 2014, by
Cam Talbot will want a starting opportunity if he keeps up his form. (Scott Levy, Getty Images)

Cam Talbot will want a starting opportunity if he keeps up his form. (Scott Levy, Getty Images)

The dilemma is always there: A franchise always wants to have strong goaltending and a strong, reliable back-up, but the threat of losing such a commodity to a club dangling a starting gig is constant. Cam Talbot may be approaching this kind of situation in his near future and the Rangers need to be ready to deal with it.

The Rangers have been lucky in recent times with backup goaltending thanks to Marty Biron and now – in spectacular style – Cam Talbot. With Talbot’s play – leading the league in save percentage and goals against average – Talbot will surely be an enticing prospect for several clubs this summer (the likes of Washington, Islanders, Calgary and perhaps even teams such as Winnipeg). Henrik Lundqvist’s backup still has a year left on his modest contract and with his performances, appealing size and (likely) desire not to remain a back-up long term, he’ll surely be open to offers.

The Rangers, while obviously not wanting to lose a player performing to Talbot’s current level, need to take advantage of Talbot’s play this summer and sell high. Barring the worst of worst case scenarios, the commitment made to Lundqvist means Lundqvist is in it for the long term. Subsequently, Talbot will surely leave at the first opportunity he has if he continues to perform to such a high level so the Rangers need to effectively manage their assets.

With a modest deal the Rangers could get a good asset in return for Talbot. While his body of work will still be small this summer (perhaps a maximum of 20-25 starts?), Talbot has proven he is a solid NHL goaltender and can likely be signed beyond his current contract quickly and to a relatively modest deal. If the Rangers could get a 2nd round pick or a roster part back then it’s an option they need to explore.

Of course, this (re-)opens a hole on the current roster, but there are plenty of back-up calibre goaltenders available who are in different situations/points of their career compared to Talbot. With a rising cap, the Rangers can afford to spend to find an able back-up to the King. They can’t afford to let an asset such as Cam Talbot walk for nothing. The league’s most successful teams are those who manage their rosters most effectively. The Rangers need to follow suit.


  1. SalMerc says:

    While I agree with the premise of the article, I can’t help but feel that you can never be too deep at goalie. 

    • TxRanger says:

      Agree, but he isn’t going to resign and be a career back-up when teams offer him a starting job, plus we don’t wanna pay what it would cost just to keep him as the back-up.

    • Centerman21 says:

      He would never resign here. Why would he want to play 2nd fiddle to Lundqvist for the duration of another contract? He’s a rookie but he’s what. 27? He doesn’t have forever to get a chance at a starting job. I’m sure he’s on teams radar by now. It’s too bad. I’d love for him to be the backup another 4-5 seasons.

      • The Suit says:

        I think everyone is getting a little ahead of themselves. He doesn’t have the experience to be a starter anywhere yet. We’ll see how things shake out next year. There’s plenty of time to resign him, which I’m sure is what will happen if he keeps his play up.

  2. Chris A says:

    If the right trade offer comes about this summer Cam will get his shot to start or compete for a starter’s role somewhere.  With the cap going up this summer a backup goalie making the league minimum won’t be as big a need for the Rangers next year. 
    I’m sure they will trade Cam and look for the next Biron type to backup Hank for the next couple of seasons until the next Benoit Alliere prize pupil is ready for NY.

    • Centerman21 says:

      As long as it’s a Western team. I’d hate to face that kid 3-6 times a season in the East or Metropolitan.

  3. Bort says:

    I completely agree. Barring a complete gall from grace, Talbot is going to be offered a starting role from some club. As great as he is playing as our backup I don’t want to think about what it would cost to keep him in the King’s shadow.

  4. Spozo says:

    Will teams consider Talbot a starting goaltender? Yes his numbers are phenomenal but as a prospect he was never thought of anything but a backup. Has he surpassed that?

  5. TxRanger says:

    We should make Cam our starter!
    Nah, but I agree. I’m sure Sather has already been thinking about this one, and we’ll see Cam get moved by the summer.
    My question is: What kind of roster player could we get for a possible starting goalie? Like a third-liner or what?

  6. RangerSmurf says:

    As you’re seeing with the Dubnyk/Scrivens deals (who are much more established than Cam), the goalie market is awful. 
    Those guys fetched a 4th liner on a terrible contract, and a 3rd rounder (which from the Oilers is really a late 2nd). 
    Even if/when he comes back to Earth a bit, Talbot’s value as a league minimum backup for the next year+ outweighs anything they’re going to get back in return.

  7. Frank Cerbone says:

    With the Sather using #ones to daft Montoya & Blackburn (career ending injury by getting hurt by horsing around in the weight room) and a # two for Antoine Lafleur, YOU ARE NOT MOVING TALBOT IN THE OFFSEASON FOR A 2nd ROUND DRAFT PICK.
    The ability to play and play very well in NYC means you can pretty much do well anywhere.  IF TALBOT CONTINUES HIS STRONG PLAY FOR THE REST OF THE SEASON, Rangers might trade Lundquist for a star forward or Talbot for a top 6 forward.

    • Rangers Fan in Boston says:

      We have to move on from the notion that Lundqvist will be traded.  He signed a 7 year deal, it’s just not happening.

    • jeff fahrer says:

      Henrik is an all world goalie based on prior years accomplishments. Not to denigrate him or the players in front of him we still haven’t gotten to the cup finals.
      He is an asset and based on such I can only imagine what would come back our way. At least a #2/3 right d man, bonfide #2 center and at least a 1 and 2. And then we would “only” have CM.

  8. Scully says:

    I am absolutely NOT for dealing Talbot for a 2nd round pick or a bit prospect? No offense because I love you guys but, are you F*cking kidding me. If this dude is as much of the truth as we all think, barring injury (which of course happens) this guy is a stud that should be dealt for a stud in return.

  9. Dave says:

    The goalie market is weak, but Talbot’s greatest asset is his contract. League minimum next year too.

    • Ray says:

      No, his best assets are that he is a top flight goalie and that he is a goalie who can step up in the playoffs.  For two #1 picks, he’s an absolute steal.

      • Spozo says:

        This is a joke right? This guy has never had a gaa below 2.6 in the AHL or a sv% above .918. In 4 years in the AHL he played 10 playoff games.

        • Ray says:

          2012 Calder Cup playoffs – Talbot in goal for Connecticut.  Connecticut swept first opponent 3-0, Talbot yielding three goals.  Second round, Connecticut lost to Norfolk Admirals 4-2.  Norfolk was rather hot, winning 43 0f their last 46 games and so two of their three losses in forever were against Talbot.  So while Talbot has only been the goalie Connecticut went with once, he excelled on that occasion.
          Point 2 —  The NHL is more disciplined than the AHL.  Generally speaking, success in the AHL should correlate with NHL success but some goalies will no doubt benefit from the discipline more than others.

          • Spozo says:

            Ten playoff games in the minor leagues is enough to declare someone steps up in the playoffs?

  10. Walt says:

    Talbot’s play deserves at least a first round, and possibly a player as well.  As stated, his greatest asset is the contract he currently has, but look at the record as well.  He has been terrific for us, and if the market for goalies is as poor as your making it out to be, well his value goes up big time!!!!!

    • Rangers Fan in Boston says:

      I don’t think any team will trade a 1 + a player for the very limited sample size so far.  That would be the ultimate sell high deal.  It’s just not realistic.

      The market is poor because teams just dont value goalies (at least one’s that other teams are willing to trade) like they do top 6 forwards, and rightfully so.

      • Walt says:

        The arguement being made was that the thing he had going for him was his contract.   If that’s what you are basing your case, then he should be valued much more because the market is poor, and he is playing great at this time!!!!!

  11. Chris F says:

    If NY can’t get back a top-6 forward or a number 1 pick for Talbot than no deal.

    I highly doubt Talbot had any expectations about being an NHL starting goalie this season or even next. He’d still be in the AHL if Biron didn’t suddenly retire. With that in mind, I doubt he’ll be sour about spending another year backing up The King on Broadway. This is a dream come true for him.

    No rush to give him away for less than he is worth simply because other teams are suddenly noticing his potential.

    • JoeP199 says:

      It’s not about next year. As I understand it, it’s about the year after that, when he becomes a free agent. Then, he can just walk away, and the Rangers get NOTHING for him. 

  12. Zesta says:

    FA goalies- Dubnyk- Gustavsson-Macdonald-Khudobin-Greiss-Nilstrop
    There are more goalies out there but these are the ones that would provide value at the back up position.

    • Rangers Fan in Boston says:

      Indeed.  It’s all about value.  What can the Ranger’s get for Talbot?  We all know a good deal when we see it (top 6 forward, top 4 defenseman, #1 pick, etc.), and if the Rangers are not offered that, then Talbot is a quality backup for one more season.
      I maintain that his best value right going into the offseason is as a trade chip, but that all depends on the return.  No need to force a deal if one isn’t there.
      But if they do trade him, there are plenty of options for backup goalie that won’t cost an arm and a leg.

  13. Tim B says:

    Talbot and a possible package for a defensmen?

  14. TxRanger says:

    Its funny to read what some people think we can get for this guy. I’d be down with a reliable fourth-liner that can kill penalties. That seems realistic based upon his sample size, because, honestly, he’s a risky acquisition for other teams. So an established utility player, and maybe a lower round pick (Callahan was a 6th rounder) would be okay?

  15. supermaz says:

    How about just extend him for three more years beyond next for say 3.6-4.2 million. Then we are set for 4 years at the position…..time enough to groom a young prospect.

  16. Mikeyyy says:

    Beezer and Richter.

    who do you choose.

  17. bernmeister says:

    Cannot disagree more with this article.
    While EVERYONE is available at the right price, and I would not dismiss out of hand a massive overpayment for Cam Talbot, all things being equal, he stays.
    And if he continues to give me 90+% easy of what Hank brings for what is currently a fraction to a projected upwards of a third or half the price, then it is a no brainer in this cap age to deal Hank and his huge salary for an even larger return.
    Happily, that is not an immediate issue.
    We should not hardball Talbot and squeeze him dry. We should plan and execute a long term series of graduated contracts with minimum bases advancing to reasonable, then reasonable plus, and with bonus clauses for production and team achievement.
    That will lock him up relatively long term.
    We should take care as to if Lundqvist breaks down 4-5 years from now, around time Talbot will end. If he does, Hank is either LTIR or no longer full time but a backup, with their roles then reversed, Prince Cam succeeds King Hank. If and when we reach such a “then and in that event” moment, Hank will have to decide what is the right thing to do; keep taking all the $$, rework the deal, do a trade; any of several possibilities/options. But all those scenarios result in Talbot succeeding here.
    Only variance in this equation is the unknown. We get some free agent or late G draft choice who suddenly is Mr. Vezina. Even then, the inclination to max cap is to keep Talbot and repurpose Lundqvist.
    Kudos to the author for thinking outside the box.
    But for all of the above, I stick to my conclusions.

  18. maskdman3 says:

    Many a goaltender have started off amazingly hot until teams had a chance to scout them properly and figured out how to score on them. The truly elite ones overcome this second wave.

    Anyone remember Patrick Lalime starting his career going something like 15 games before losing one? How about Roman Turek before everyone figured him out during the All-Star challenge and his numbers tanked.

    Lundqvist is a proven winner with a career deal. Cam is playing well, should be proud and rewarded with playing time while his play continues to warrant it. Nothing more to see here.