The reasons for keeping Cam Talbot beyond this year are adding up

March 11, 2014, by

Talbot’s cap hit is just $565,500 next season

When Henrik Lundqvist re-signed with the Rangers for seven years, $59.5 million on December 4, one of the possible dominoes was the team trading backup goalie Cam Talbot this summer.

Talbot has produced at probably an unsustainable level. With just one season separating the 26-year-old from unrestricted free agency, you have to assume Talbot is eyeing a chance to compete for a starting job.  Recouping some value by dealing a blossoming netminder still in his prime years for a draft pick seemed like it could be sensible since Talbot would never be able to assume the crown in New York.

However, the reasons in favor of keeping Talbot keep adding up.

Talbot’s cap hit is a minuscule $562,500 next season.  The $300k difference between that number and what the Blueshirts would have to pay a veteran replacement shouldn’t be discounted. The team is likely hoping to bring in an impact center this summer in an inflated market, and every dollar saved goes a long way toward Paul Stastny (the preferred target around these parts).

And unfortunately, though he’s been better lately for the most part, Lundqvist still hasn’t been on top of his game.  Meanwhile “The Prince” has been very useful as a backup with 11 wins in 16 starts and sparkling ratios of 1.75 GAA and a .938 SV%. Talbot won’t take Lundqvist’s job, but he could be pretty good insurance for another year, when Lundqvist will be turning 33.

We also got a firsthand look at the goalie market during the flurry of activity involving netminders surrounding last week’s trade deadline.  In all, 12 netminders changed teams, but most moved in goalie for goalie swaps and only Reto Berra drew a second-round pick from the clueless Avalanche.

The trade value of a backup goaltender is very low and Talbot just doesn’t have the track record to be worthy of much more than a third- or fourth-round pick. Though even a fourth might tempt the pick-starved Blueshirts – especially after they nailed three third rounders last June – it’s still not much.

Talbot’s future may not lie in New York, but having a backup that seems to have the hang of things here for another season certainly seems like it’d be worth a mid-round draft choice.

Though the possibility of trading Talbot is coming up sooner than it did for Callahan, the main debate is the same one the  Blueshirts just faced with their former captain. That time, rather than losing Callahan for nothing, the Rangers chose to deal one of their most important players well before he became a free agent.  Of course, Callahan fetched Martin St. Louis

Categories : Musings, Offseason


  1. Puck Luck @Centerman21 says:

    I would keep Talbot until at least next years trading deadline. See what the market dictates his value at.

  2. Dave says:

    Talbot’s cap hit makes him one of the better bargains of the year. You need that in this day and age.

    • Puck Luck @Centerman21 says:

      Totally true. Having him rise to the role he has (I wish he had 2-3 years ago) as a solid backup at a bargain price has helped the Rangers this year and next when they need all the money they can to fill holes and resign RFA’s & UFA’s they want to keep. I don’t think he will accept backup goalie salary after next year when he’s a UFA. So if that’s the case and there’s a market for goalies. Then trade him. We all know he isn’t taking over Hanks spot with his contract.
      The kid is a great story and even if he comes back to Earth at some point, he’s proven a solid backup in the pros. I think we should thank Beoit Allaire for gettin AV to get him a start. I think his deal becomes 1 way next year too so he’s in the NHL to stay now. If he wants to start then Sather will have to look for a goalie for goalie swap either this summer or during the 14/15 season before the deadline. Just my thoughts. I wish he’d sign a 4 year 4-4.5 mil contract to be NYR backup for the next 4-5 years. He’s that good. Even looks better than Hank at times. Better at moving the puck. Just as good laterally. IMO he’s got a slightly better glove hand than Hank. Something Hank should really work on. Hank doesn’t seem ready to use his glove when a high shot comes to that side. He should just take shots glove side in practice the rest of the season.

      • Dave says:

        Sign a backup goalie to a 4/16 contract? No thanks.

        16 games is such a small sample – we have no clue what Talbot is. At this point, he’s a great value. Nothing more, nothing less.

        • Chris A says:

          That would mean $12M of cap space would be dedicated to the crease for four years. That is a recipe for disaster.

          Hank is here to play 60-70 games per season and all the playoff games. The Rangers will continue to employ backups making at or near the league minimum for the next seven years.

          Talbot has next to no trade value. No GM is going to offer more than a 4th round pick for a 27 year old guy with no pedigree and less than 50 games of NHL experience.

          Talbot will play out his deal and walk after next season. Which is fine. The Rangers will have gotten plenty of utility out of the $1M over two years to justify letting Cam walk for nothing.

          • asfjr says:

            I think he meant 4 years for a total of $4 – $4.5, so $1M to 1.25 per year. I would offer him something like 3 years at $1.5 million per max, but you have to think he will want to test the waters. Not even for the money, but just for a chance to start somewhere.

  3. Ray says:

    I don’t understand why a guy who may very well be a solid starting goaltender isn’t worth a #1 draft choice. He’s not a sure thing of course, but neither are #1’s. And a starting goaltender is a big deal.

    Of course, I wouldn’t be eager to trade him. The current Ranger team misses the playoffs without Talbot and conceivably he could be more valuable than Lundqvist again next year.

    • Kevin says:

      It’s simple supply and demand. Which teams actually need a goalie? Not many. And Talbot definitely isn’t the best…or at least most proven…among those available.

      • Ray says:

        You are right that he is not the most proven. But we don’t really know that he is not one of the top ten goalies (he certainly has been this year) and he seems worth taking a chance on if you are one of those teams whose goalie position precludes winning the Cup.

      • Puck Luck @Centerman21 says:

        All that depends on how he plays going forward. 16 starts (18 Gms) are a small sample size tho I bet he has caught the eyes of GM’s & scouts around the NHL playing not like a backup but more like a starter that can always give your team a chance to win. If he continues the 2:1 win/lose ratio he’s on now. There will be plenty of interest around the league. Even if it’s not for a starting job just more money. I’d give the kid decent money to stay if I were Sather. Having a chance to win when your #1 is sitting out a game or injured is key. Not many teams have 2 starting goalies.

        • Rangers Fan in Boston says:

          The Rangers also have to be careful to not lock up too much cap in the goalie position. Part of the benefit of Lundqvist (in theory) is that you can afford to pay a #2 less, as Henrik is your workhorse.

        • Chris A says:

          GMs wont deal anything of value for Talbot because too many GMs have been burned in similar situations.

          For starters, Google the names Andrew Raycroft, Jim Carey and Vesa Toskala. Those were three guys that had blistering starts to their careers, GMs over-committed to them either by overpaying them or trading way too much for them, they promptly turned back into pumpkins once the following season started.

          Goalies are a volatile commodity. A good GM knows to never overpay for one and to never draft one in the first couple rounds.

  4. Walt says:

    The kid has played too good to let go. I’d offer him a fair contract, bridge type, where he gets maybe $1.5 mil for two seasons. If he plays well, then re-sign him, with a raise. If not, then consider tradeing him!!

  5. Bort says:

    I completely agree. I’m sure there are a lot of clubs that can pay him more than us, need him more than us, and probably a couple he would have a chance to start for. I can’t foresee him resigning (especially in the wake of all our recent contract negotiation woes) for an amount we would be happy with.
    We should treat him as a nice bonus for the time being, and hope Allaire manages to do whatever witchcraft it is he does to create great goalies one more time.

  6. jimbo51 says:

    Puck Luck is saying 4 yrs-4.5mil. Not per year, a good price for a new back-up looking to make some noise.

  7. Chris F says:

    Talbot has been lights out so far this season, for sure. We all love what he’s done so far, but let’s be honest: Talbot was never considered anything more than an NHL backup, if that. He wouldn’t even be playing in the NHL if Biron didn’t suddenly retire.

    To those saying we don’t know if Talbot could be a top 10 goalie, we do. He’s not. I love the results he’s managed this season, but he’s not Tuuka Rask, Carey Price, or Henrik Lundqvist.

    If he’s willing to sign for a few more seasons as Hank’s backup at a reasonable price, great. We’d love to keep him. But his amazing #s this season will probably entice some team –like the Islanders– to lure him away with a starting role. And behind their porous D, he’ll get lit up. Talbot has not had to be awesome much playing for the Rangers. He’s been very sheltered behind an overly protective defensive corps that has insulated him from the pressures Lundqvist faces.

    • supermaz says:

      Biron was released, then he retired. Why does everyone refuse to acknowledge the
      Elephant in the room? At this stage Talbot is better than Lundqvist.

  8. SalMerc says:

    He stays until next year’s trade deadline (at least). Its settled.

    Hey Dave – I like him!

  9. Frank Cerbone says:

    Suppose Lundquist has a bad playoffs? Maybe signing Talbot to a 2 year deal wouldn’t be such a bad idea. Then mayb e next season Talbot could get a shot at more playing time.

    More likely, Sather trades Talbot, a 2016#1 draft choice, & maybe Kreider or McDonough for Jagr.

  10. bernmeister says:

    Disagree his current return value in trade is low.

    Prefer to keep him, unless he will not accept more $ for backup role.

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