We’re blessed with some fine talent when it comes to assessing goalies and as we lead up to the draft and free agency, some interesting voices have been shouting out (here and elsewhere). Allow me to grab a snippet from four different voices (apologies if you’re not included) discussing Cam Talbot:
- Matt Henderson, Oilers Nation: He’s most definitely still worth a gamble, but the gamble should be allowing him to begin next season as the starter. The gamble should not be that he is worth paying an extreme price for. He is guaranteed to be nothing more than a long term rental.That fact cannot be lost in the excitement of the chase. Source
- Darcy McLeod, BecauseOilers: Talbot is trending to be an elite goalie. By a few different SV% metrics Talbot’s peers appear to be Price, Quick, Holtby, and Rask. Pretty high end company to keep. He is available for trade this summer and will be traded. (Lundqvist’s contract, Talbot’s 1 year contract, and NYR’s lack of a 1st rounder make this almost a certainty). Source.
- G Money: What he’s done is so good and so unusual sixty games in that for that to be a mirage would take a conspiracy. I’ve run all kinds of datasets in all kinds of situations in the world of hockey, and few (well … none) have been this unequivocal.At this point, I would be absolutely shocked if Talbot does not turn into an elite NHL goalie. Shocked.
- AsiaOil: I’m actually warming up to Talbot a bit now that I have an actual comparable that turned out well. Still would not offer more than the Petry picks because of the UFA issue – if he plays well for half a season he will cost >$4 million with term to resign (average starter money) and would still be considered unproven and risky. Would also be good if we had a decent vet to pair with him as a 1A/1B. So for all of those reasons I’d still pass and look at other options.
The last two comments were from previous threads on this blog and the other two are credited. For those who don’t know, AsiaOil has long established that he’s able to suss out goalies better than many, so I’ve watched the conversation closely between the group above (and others) across the Oilogosphere. My own bias (I don’t think we have enough on Talbot, for example) are less important to me than the overall conversation. I don’t want to give up No. 16 for Cam Talbot, would be comfortable with No. 33 and suspect Sather will get No. 33 overall this season and a second-round pick in 2016 IF the Oilers sign Talbot. That’s my line in the sand.
When I’m trying to figure out goalies, I look at even-strength save percentage from the most recent season. Here are some possible goalie options, with last season’s EV SP:
- Devan Dubnyk .934
- Cam Talbot .931
- Craig Anderson .930
- Jonas Hiller .927
- Michal Neuvirth .926
- Brian Elliott .925
- Antti Niemi .922
- Eddie Lack .922
- Jonathan Bernier .921
- Jhonas Enroth .915
We know the sample size for Talbot has been questioned, with some feeling it’s not a massive issue—certainly not enough to stay away from Talbot. We know some of these gents are fairly long in the tooth, or free agents, or will never come here hello Devan Dubnyk. How confident are we these players will duplicate this number next season? In 2013-14, Martin Jones was .949 but I can’t find anyone (beyond myself or Travis Yost) who thinks he’s much good at all.
Here’s my question to you: If the price tag is No. 33 overall and a conditional second-round pick (2016) for Cam Talbot, would you do it? The condition on the extra pick would be a signed Talbot. Would you do it?
- Peter Chiarelli: “There’s a couple of groups of goalies out there. I’m not averse to either of the types of groups. You’ve got some younger, smaller sample size guys, you’ve got some more proven guys. For me it’s about fitting in too how we improve our D and how we’re going to play defensively. At the end of the day it takes two to tango so you’ve got to get the right deal in place. I’m not averse to going to the free agent market either, whether it’s the trade market or the free agent market. We’re going to play better defensively, we hoped to improve our defence. Our defensemen will improve, the defensive lay will improve. This goalie thing we’ve been looking at it very closely and it’s tough. You see some of the trades of goalies in the past, you don’t know how they’re going to pop. We ended up getting Rask in Boston and we were able to bring him along slowly until he was ready. Sometimes you’re not. At the same time we weren’t able to bring Michael Hutchinson along slowly and he popped for Winnipeg. It’s a real inexact science and you’ve really got to go to the character of the goalie and how the team’s going to play defensively. My guess is we’ll probably be able to do something before the draft but I’m not completely sure.” Source
I think it’s more than tough, it’s damn near impossible. Then again, I’m an Oilers fan and the truth—the painful truth—is this team hasn’t been blessed with great goaltending often 1991+. The Oilers are about the bat, not the leather. Perhaps this will be Chiarelli’s major contribution to the club.
Paul MacLean is looking for work. Edmonton is a team mentioned. His evaluation on Lehner and Anderson will be key in any deal.
— Shawn Simpson (@TSNSimmer) June 23, 2015
Makes sense. I am on record as having serious doubts about the wisdom of trading for Lehner, who at one time was considered to be one of the best young prospects in the NHL. The concussion and recent performance are red flags, and I’m not certain “he’s fine now” cuts it as a clean bill of health. If the Oilers do hire MacLean and THEN trade for Lehner, I’ll feel a little better about the whole thing.
- Draft McDavid (and sign him)
- Find a quality goalie option (this is the Talbot/Lehner item)
- Acquire a legit top pairing blue (as always, clear as mud days before bullets fly. Dougie Hamilton=perfect fit)
- Sign a more offensive two-way F (I’m hoping for Soderberg)
- Ignore MacT re: Marincin (Or trade Marincin for real value and not a damn pick)
The additions here (basically a goalie, two defensemen and two forwards) isn’t enough but it’s a start. During his first season as GM (after the games began) Chiarelli was quite active and I think we may see that kind of ongoing tinker with this team. Here are the prominent Chiarelli moves after opening night:
- Traded a third-round pick (Maxime Macenauer) to Anaheim for Stanislav Chistov. Chistov spent 60 games with the Bruins before heading back home, the draft pick remains in the AHL at 26.
- Traded forward Tyler Redenbach to Arizona for goalie Phillip Sauve, who played in a couple of Bruins games. Redenbach didn’t make it.
- Traded Wade Brookbank for nothing.
- Traded Yan Stastny to St. Louis for a draft pick (Dennis Reul).
- Traded Milan Jurcina for the pick that turned into TJ Brodie
- Traded Kris Versteeg to Chicago for Brandon Bochenski
- Traded Wayne Primeau, Brad Stuart and the pick that turned into Brodie to Calgary for Andrew Ference and Chuck Kobasew.
- Traded Paul Mara to the NY Rangers for Aaron Ward.
- Traded Brad Boyes to St. Louis for Dennis Wideman.
That’s all between opening night and the end of the trade deadline, 2006-07. I honestly don’t think an Oilers’ GM has ever been that active in-season, MAYBE Slats during one of those selloff springs.
A COUPLE OF ITEMS ON STU
I was thinking about this yesterday, about Peter Chiarelli’s massive job in the procurement area. Edmonton’s way of doing things for many years (example: giving a local area scout a pick in the third round because he had a ‘passion’ for him) is old school back to Barry Fraser days. Progress WAS made, like the 2013 draft where the Oilers paid attention to analytics. The Marco Roy selection was specifically credited at the time, and the unusual trade that brought in five picks for one (Yakimov, Slepy, Platzer among them) also shows it. If it’s true that the 2013 draft was using analytics and a specific model, what happened in 2014? That kind of thing shouldn’t happen, there was value all through the 2014 draft (Mangiapane) that amateurs like myself uncovered with Texas Instruments and foolscap. Chiarelli has much work to do, and we’ll see this week how he’s going about it. Start as you mean to go, as they say.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
A busy morning, much reaction to yesterday’s Chiarelli avail. Scheduled to appear, beginning 10 this morning on TSN1260:
- Jonathan Willis, Cult of Hockey. The Chiarelli chat, Dougie Hamilton, goalie.
- Kirk Luedeke, Red Line Report. The Bruins and the eastern seaboard prospects like David Cotton.
- Guy Flaming, Pipeline Show. WHL kids for the draft, some of the compelling kids he’s spoken to this year and his own take on the Oilers scouting changes.
Fluid show, may have an extra guest or two. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!