The Calgary Flames have had interest in Cam Talbot going back to his days with the New York Rangers, and they may be finally getting their man. Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic tweeted this morning that the Flames and Talbot are still both looking at all of their options, but there is a “decent possibility” of a deal when free agency opens next week. Andy Strickland of Fox Sports Midwest went even further than that, reporting that the veteran goaltender will be signing a one-year deal with the Flames. Though they often do, players and teams aren’t supposed to exchange contract figures during the current interview period and no deal can be made official until Monday, July 1.
Talbot, 31, may seem like he has passed his prime given the poor performances he has posted the last two seasons, but he’ll try to prove his doubters wrong this year. After finishing fourth in Vezina Trophy voting in 2017 he has posted just a .902 save percentage and eventually relinquished the Edmonton Oilers starting gig. If he does end up in Calgary, it likely would be as a partner—or even backup—for David Rittich, who still needs a new contract of his own after receiving a qualifying offer earlier this week. Rittich went 27-9-5 with the Flames this season but watched Mike Smith play all five games in the team’s first round postseason loss.
Calgary is loaded with talent up front and on the blue line, but haven’t been able to find a consistent starting goaltender for years now. Smith and before him Brian Elliott were prone to wild swings in effectiveness, making it tough to find any sustained or postseason success. If Talbot can reclaim some of the stability he showed in that 2016-17 season with the Oilers and help lift up Rittich as an NHL starting goaltender, perhaps the team will be able to reach new heights and contend for the Stanley Cup once again.