According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, the Philadelphia Flyers and Edmonton Oilers are talking about a trade that would send Cam Talbot to Philly. This comes after Elliotte Friedman evidently said the same thing on Sportsnet last night. The 31-year-old goalie is 10-15-3 this season with an .893 save percentage, 3.36 goals against average, and one shutout. He has a cap hit of $4.167 million and is an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Word is the Oilers and Flyers are in trade discussions on Cam Talbot. Could be preliminary, but they’re definitely talking.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) February 14, 2019
As we know, Talbot and Carter Hart have a good relationship. Could be a good fit for Talbot if it progresses. https://t.co/gu4AKc3hhg— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) February 14, 2019
Following three seasons of being the clear starter in Edmonton, Talbot has taken part in as many games for the Oilers this year as Mikko Koskinen, who is 14-12-2 with a .908 save percentage in his return campaign to the NHL after his debut seven seasons ago. Part of that is due to Koskinen’s surprise play and part of that is due to the fact Talbot has struggled this season. Out of the 29 goalies across the league who have played in 30 games or more this season, Talbot is dead last in save percentage and 28th in GAA despite seeing the sixth-fewest shots among the group. At 5-on-5 the numbers don’t get too much prettier for Talbot. Of the 29 goalies who have played 1,300 5-on-5 minutes or more in 2018-19, Talbot is 24th with a .911 save percentage, 21st with a .971 low-danger save percentage, and 27th with a .757 high-danger save percentage. Of the 31 games he’s played in this season, Talbot has posted a save percentage of .900 or lower in 18 of the tilts.
Prior to this season, Talbot has done okay with the Oilers. Last season, Talbot was one of just five goalies to play in 65 games or more playing behind an Edmonton team that finished 29th in the league with a 2.61 expected goals against-per-60 rate and went 31-31-3 with a .908 save percentage, 3.02 GAA, and one shutout. In 2016-17, Talbot was the only goalie to play in 67 games or more as he posted a .919 save percentage and finished tied for first in the league with 42 wins in 73 appearances, as the Oilers allowed most of their chances against from the slot.
Acquiring Talbot would further complicate an already interesting goalie situation for the Flyers’ franchise next season. If general manager Chuck Fletcher were to trade and sign Talbot, the assumed tandem for the Orange and Black in 2019-20 would be Carter Hart starting and Talbot serving as the backup. Anthony Stolarz, who has made a pretty good case for why he should be the backup next season with his play this year, and Alex Lyon would most likely be the goalie tandem for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. To go along with those four, Felix Sandstrom will be in the second year of his entry-level contract with an expectation he could be coming over to North America and Fletcher mentioned earlier this season that Kirill Ustimenko could possibly also be coming over for 2019-20. Stolarz could have very easily been (and still could be) the backup next season, but Talbot is a better stopgap option than Brian Elliott or Michal Neuvirth and is less of an injury concern than the three Flyers’ goalies mentioned.