Archive for Cameron Talbot

Renaud Lavoie is reporting that the Rangers have signed goalie Cam Talbot to a two-year contract extension tonight.  Talbot is 18-19-1 with a 2.56 GAA and a .918 SV% with the CT Whale this season, where he has played since 2009.  The signing indicates the Rangers have seen a (very) small glimmer of hope that Talbot could be the heir to the throne, but the organization still needs to acquire a legitimate goalie prospect.

The most interesting thing about the news: in year one Talbot will make $550k on a two-way deal, but in 2014-2015, Talbot will get $575k on a one-way NHL contract.  That happens to be the year after Marty Biron’s contract expires.  That doesn’t necessarily mean Talbot is earmarked for Biron’s job, it wouldn’t be too difficult to deal a cheap goalie if it came to that (although it’s still a good bet Biron will be gone after his current deal ends).

This also probably doesn’t speak well toward Scott Stajcer’s future with the franchise.

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Yesterday the Rangers announced that they had recalled nine six players from the Connecticut Whale of the AHL. The Whale were eliminated from Calder Cup contention last week, and the nine six players called up will serve as the “taxi squad.” As per Andrew Gross, they will practice separately from the current roster.

The players called up include:

G – Cameron Talbot

D – Tim Erixon, Dylan McIlrath

F – J.T. Miller, Casey Wellman, Kris Newbury, Chad Kolarik, Marek Hrivik, Jonathan Audy-Marchessault

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Earlier this week, we ran the first part of our most recent Q&A with Brian Ring of the CT Whale who has kindly taken time out to discuss a whole array of things with us such as the Whale, Rangers’ prospects and his candidates for breakout performers in the future. Today we have the second part of the Q&A.

Today’s final part looks at the Whale’s potential season, more prospects, the goaltending carousel and MVP candidates for the 2011/12 season. Happy reading…

  • What achievement would be considered a good season for the Whale in 2011-12?

Brian: The benchmark of this franchise has always been to make the playoffs, as the Wolf Pack/Whale have made the playoffs in 13 of 14 seasons in their history. But I think that may be setting the bar low this season, as the upside given the talent and skill on this year’s team should be more than enough to set their sights on making a deep run into the postseason and going for the Calder Cup.

  • Chad Kolarik is another relatively young forward that played well for the Whale. What can Rangers fans expect from Kolarik and does he have a chance at cracking the NHL this season?

Brian: Kolarik is a highly-skilled player with a great sniping and playmaking ability. He had a bit of a nagging injury last year which kept him from being completely healthy but he still managed nearly a point a game during his time in a Whale uniform (17-14-31) in 36 games (he also played 13 games for Springfield). I would say he certainly has a chance of spending some time in New York this season, battling it out with guys like Kris Newbury, John Mitchell and Dale Weise, among others, for potential call-ups.

  • A relatively unknown name to most fans is that of Kale Kerbashian. Can you provide fans a brief ‘scouting report’ on the young winger and where is he expected to begin the new season?

Brian: Kale really broke out last season with a pretty big junior year for Sarnia, totalling 37-51-88 in 68 games for the Sting. I haven’t seen enough of him to really make a solid judgement, but I did watch him a bit at the Rangers’ development camp and he seemed to be one of the more confident players on the ice and had no problem rushing the puck and making plays. All evidence points to Kale being a rugged guy who is not afraid to get physical on the ice, and the team was impressed enough to lock him up to an AHL deal this year.

  • Is it fair to suggest that the Whale’s biggest question marks are in net and how do you see the goaltending position playing out heading in to the year?

Brian: I think it will be one of the more intriguing aspects of the preseason and the Whale training camp to see how Chad Johnson, Cam Talbot and Jason Missiaen will compete and battle each other for spots on the team. Throw Scott Stajcer into the mix and things get even more interesting. Johnson is certainly someone that has had success at the AHL level and has spent time with the Rangers, and Talbot has as well. If I had to venture a guess, I think Johnson and Talbot will be splitting time with the Whale, and I’m willing to bet that goaltending ends up more of a strength than people think, especially considering the team’s corps of defensemen.

  • How is the organisation able to balance the almost conflicting priorities of prospect development and competitiveness in the American Hockey League?

Brian: I think the biggest thing is that the Rangers have continued to draft and acquire high-end talent that allows the Whale to both develop players and win hockey games with those player’s abilities at the same time. Even when the Rangers make a trade for a player that is likely to play in Hartford, such as a Kris Newbury or a John Mitchell, those are players that are able to step right into an NHL line up but are also excellent AHL players. That, combined with the solid drafting the Rangers have done for some time now, has led to good organizational depth and this lessens the need to compromise either player development or competitiveness. Development is certainly the first priority for most AHL clubs, however winning is always a nice side effect of generating top-tier talent.

  • If you had to say one name today, who will be the CT Whale MVP at the end of the 2011-12 season and why?

Brian: Such a tough question because there are a lot of factors regarding who will be here to start the year, who will miss a lot of times with call-ups or injuries. I’m going to take Kris Newbury, who I’ll project to finish top ten in the AHL in points this year. I think there will be a lot of goals scored this season and he’ll have plenty of guys to dish the puck to.


A final big thanks to both Brian Ring and the CT Whale for participating with the Q&A. It’s always interesting to hear insight from Brian about the Whale and the Rangers prospects. Be sure to follow both Brian and the Whale on twitter at @brianring and @CTWhale. Make sure you check back throughout the season for updates on how the Whale (and the Rangers future) are getting on with their season and be sure to check out the Whale’s own website  too.

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Zuccarello Returned To Connecticut

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In a bit of surprising news, Mats Zuccarello has been returned to the Connecticut Whale today. Zuccarello has been a bit inconsistent with the Rangers this season, registering a line of 6-16-22 in 41 games thus far, with a +2 rating and four PIMs. Nine of his assists came on the powerplay, and two of his goals were game winners. Zuccarello has the skill to make it in the NHL, but it looks like he just lost his confidence. For his first stint in the NHL, Zucc would have averaged roughly 40 points for a full 82 game season, which is pretty good for a kid who is 5’7″ tall. The Whale have a tough schedule ahead of them, so it’s good that Zucc will get some consistent playing time.

Also, Cam Talbot was returned to the AHL after his brief one day call up that caused more panic (from myself) than was necessary.

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Per the AHL Transaction Log, the Rangers have recalled goalie Cameron Talbot from the AHL. This is a bit surprising. I can only think of two things: either there’s an injury that we don’t know about; or he’s being called up to work with the guru of goaltending coaches Benoit Allaire. I’m betting there was an injury to The King that we will hear about shortly. Talbot has a 2.56 GAA and a .913 SV% in 19 games with the CT Whale.

Update: Apparently Talbot is a locker room cancer. There has to be a reason for him to be up in the NHL now. I’d assume Lundqvist has an injury and can’t go tonight.

This is what happens when people start jokes while I’m out of the country. I think they are legitimate. Damn you Jim.

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Training Camp Preview: Goalies

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Training camp is just around the corner, and each Monday here at Blue Seat Blogs, I will be previewing each position in camp, including the incumbents, the new guys, and the guys just trying to make a name for themselves before being sent to Hartford. This week, we look at the only position that is (hopefully) set for the next two years at the NHL level, the goaltender position.

Henrik Lundqvist: The incumbent, current face of the franchise, and top-five goalie in the league. Lundqvist has been the backbone of the franchise in the post-lockout NHL, and will hopefully continue to do so for the next decade. In Lundqvist, the Rangers have one of the most consistent goalies in the league, who will most likely see his fare share of All-Star appearances and build upon his already three Vezina finalists. Last year, Lundqvist put up a record of 35-27-10, with a 2.38 GAA and a .921 SV%. With more rest coming, Lundqvist should be able to build on those numbers, and hopefully not burn out at the end of the season, like he has in the past few seasons due to starting 70 games a year.

Martin Biron: After last season’s debacle at the backup position, the Rangers identified that they need a capable, veteran backup that can spell Lundqvist for 20 games this season. Signed to a two year deal at $875,000 per year, Biron’s job may appear to be simple, but the Rangers haven’t had a capable (and consistent) backup since Kevin Weekes. If Biron can put together a .500 record, with a GAA under 3.00 for 20 games per year the next two years, then it will be the single most important signing of the offseason.

Chad Johnson: Johnson played well in his four games last season, putting up a 2.35 GAA, which is unfortunately overshadowed by the Rangers W-L record during his stint in net (1-2-1). There is simply no room for Johnson at the NHL level, but the Rangers are hoping he can put together a good camp, and carry the Hartford Wolfpack in net. Johnson struggled at the end of last season, but it may be due to jet/train lag from traveling to and from Hartford to go wherever the Rangers needed him to go. Dos-Nueve will likely start in Hartford, and hopefully can develop into a solid and reliable goalie. With the starting position seemingly filled for the next decade, Johnson is probably going to be best served as a trade chip.

Cameron Talbot: The recently signed Talbot is entering camp as the #4 goalie in the system. Talbot played for a very weak Alabama-Huntsville for three seasons, posting a solid final two seasons that led to the Rangers signing him. Talbot will definitely be in Hartford next year, probably serving as the backup for Chad Johnson. Talbot will likely be the first goalie in camp sent to Hartford, but he is definitely going to show up motivated. In the best case scenario, Talbot gives Johnson a run for his money, forcing the coaching staff to take a longer look at him before sending him to Hartford.

The goaltender position isn’t going to change much in the next few years, as Lundqvist will continue to be the backbone of the Rangers. It is the Rangers greatest strength, but can also be their greatest weakness if Biron doesn’t fulfill his duties. The backups and prospects will come and go, but when you have The King in net, you tend to look at goalie prospects as trade bait.

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Rangers Sign Cameron Talbot

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The Rangers have agreed to terms with undrafted NCAA goalie Cameron Talbot of the Alabama-Huntsville Chargers. This season, playing for a very weak Chargers club, Talbot has put together a fairly decent season, going 12-18-3, with a 2.61 GAA and a .925 SV%. Talbot will be a minor league goalie for the time being, possibly replacing the soon-to-be departed Steve Valliquette.

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