Martin Jones, for my money, would be the goaltender I’d move mountains to acquire.
The New York Rangers backup goalie filled in for the injured Henrik Lundqvist during the season, playing 36 games and going 21-8-4 with a 2.21 GAA and .926 save percentage. Overall in 57 NHL games, he has a .931 save percentage and a 2.00 GAA.
So he’s now the belle of the available goalie ball, with one year left on his deal before going UFA.
According to Darren Dreger of TSN, the Edmonton Oilers (obviously), Calgary Flames (understandably), San Jose Sharks (bye, Antti), Dallas Stars (Kari is wonky and signed through 2018) and the Florida Panthers (huh?!) have kicked the tires on Talbot.
The Oilers are expected to be the front-runner for Talbot, who’s 27. Sean Hartnett of CBS looked at the potential match, and whether the Oilers would move the No. 16 overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft for him:
It would be hard to imagine the Oilers trading away the pick straight up for Talbot. This year’s draft features a very deep first round, so a package of Talbot and top-four quality defenseman Kevin Klein could be tempting to Edmonton, as it would fill two needs. For the Rangers, dealing away Talbot and Klein would free up $4.35 million in cap space. Klein will be paid an average annual salary of $2.9 million through the 2017-18 season.
The Rangers would be wise to cash in on Klein’s breakthrough 2014-15 season, which featured nine goals, 17 assists, and a plus-24 rating. If the Rangers are to deal Klein, former first-round pick Brady Skjei would have a chance to compete for a roster spot during training camp and the preseason.
Whether or not the trade is expanded to include a defenseman like Klein, the fact remains that Cam Talbot is not Dominik Hasek. His mere presence between the pipes won’t be a panacea for Edmonton’s defensive mess. That’ll take a solid system and talent on the blue line. They’ll have the former with Todd McLellan; would the No. 16 pick be better served trying to acquire the latter instead of Talbot?
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