The Edmonton Oilers needed to add a significant upgrade in goal this summer and had several options. Older vets like Antti Niemi made considerable sense, but Peter Chiarelli chose to go another route: The less proven but overwhelmingly qualified Cam Talbot is the new No. 1. There are no guarantees, but this is a helluva bet.
50GP, 2.40 .920
- You’re WAY off! Gah! Remember, we’re looking for reasonable.
- He’ll play 60 games! His career high so far is 55GP (AHL), I’ve docked him five games for shell shock.
- His save percentages were better in New York. Yes. I think we may see a market correction, but for me Talbot remains a good bet to post average or a little above in year one. Lots of things in play, I’ve aimed for the middle. We’ll see.
- This is going to be a much better season isn’t it? Looks like it. Injuries can always impact things and the defense has landmines all over the place, but the goaltending should be better than we’ve seen in a few years.
- What did that voodoo goalie whisperer guy say? Woodguy? Woodguy. Yes. Darcy McLeod from Because Oilers delivered a compelling argument for Talbot as the No. 1 option for Edmonton this summer. He did a helluva job, convinced me and many others that Talbot is more than a decent bet—he’s an outstanding one.
- It’s a perfect bet? There are risks, he’s not an established player. That said, if he performs as expected, Edmonton would never be able to get him a year from now in trade. As it is, he’ll cost a pretty penny before July 1, so this season is a big one for all involved. However, giving up second and third-round picks is miles better than a top-10 selection (that was the cost to NJD for Cory Schneider, who Darcy suggests Talbot could turn into—that, or a close facsimile).
- You thought Chiarelli was going to have to pay much more than he did. I felt it would be a bigger deal. Quoting this post: Two Oilers picks (this year’s second, No. 33, plus a second next season) AND an inexpensive forward heading to NYC. Oilers get Talbot, plus Miller or Klein.
- And the actual deal? Talbot and No. 209 for No. 57, No. 79 and No. 184.
- Chiarelli did better than you expected. By a lot. He gave up a second and a third, I projected No. 33, basically a late first, plus next year’s second and that’s probably in the top 40 overall. Helluva deal by the Oilers GM, I was impressed.
- Do you really think he plays in only 50 games? It’s a lot to expect him to pump out 60 games at .925 SP, so I’m hedging the bet. Predicting goalies is a crazy thing to do anyway.
- Have you ever been right on one of these goalie bets? Oh yeah, for sure. Devan Dubnyk 12-13 was close but these last couple of seasons have knocked me on my ass in regard to the goaltenders. Crazy crazy.
- Tell me about Cam Talbot. Well, he’s a big goalie who appears to have found the one thing that separates starting NHL goalies from backups, also-rans and never-weres.
- What is that? Consistency. Since he turned pro, Talbot’s numbers have been (by year) .902, .913, .918 (all AHL, no we hit the big leagues) .941 and .926. He’s learned how to post good numbers and in fact the SP total spiked when he hit the NHL.
- What does that mean for the Oilers? Look, this is all a thin damn line. If Talbot sees 1000 shots this season and stops 925 of them, he might be the team’s MVP (remember, we haven’t had a goalie with a .925 SP since, well, ever. I don’t recall one). If he stops 910 of those 1000 shots, he’s making $2.5 million somewhere as a backup. The beauty of Talbot, and Darcy did an excellent job showing it, is that he is BOTH proven (although not yet getting paid) AND unproven (he hasn’t played 60 games in a season), making him a stellar bet to stop 920 out of 1000 instead of 900. That’s a tremendous item. Talbot could be a very rich man by this time next year, I think he will be. It’s those 20 saves out of 1000 that wil decide his fate.
- Wildly unfair? Oh yes, I think it is. Ask Craig MacTavish if he’d like to have Devan Dubnyk back, or if he’d like to use different words at the press conference. Anywho, Talbot will own this town like no goalie since Roloson.
- Do they make the playoffs? We haven’t reached the end of the RE series yet, so my numbers aren’t final. That said, my GF-GA numbers for the Oilers suggest a massive improvement.
- How much? I don’t want to give it all away today, but the Oilers were -85 one year ago and claw it all back. The question comes in how close can they get to last year’s No. 8 team in the west, and that I’m not going to tell you until later in the week.
- Thursday? Yes. We have two more goalies to go.
- Scrivens and Brossoit? We’ve already done Brossoit.
- Last year’s No. 8 team had a good goal differential? Calgary Flames, +25.
- How many goals do you project for the Oilers this coming season? 230, it’s all here. You have to factor in empty-net goals, so it’ll be an interesting week with only the backups to go.
- Is it close? You’ll have to tune in tomorrow.
- Asshat! Look, the numbers are done and the math is very interesting. Beyond that, do you have any other questions.
- Is it difficult walking around being a dink all day? You get used to it.
- Oh, and by the way: This is NOT a punk or new wave song. Right. However, Talbot’s association with the Ghostbusters series in his masks made the choice obvious.
- If you could have chosen a new wave song, what would it have been? Until my daughter told me about the Ghostbusters connection, the plan was this one.
- Why that song? Tabot is the Oilers sonic reducer. “Then I’ll be ten feet tall, then you’ll be nothing at all
Sonic reducer, ain’t no loser!” By the way, Cheetah Chrome is 60. Lordy.