When the Flyers acquired goaltender Cam Talbot prior to the trade deadline, the expectation was that he’d take some pressure off Carter Hart and potentially sign on for beyond this season. The former certainly hasn’t happened as he has played all of 93 minutes since the trade and as John Boruk of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports, no progress has been made on the latter either as there have not yet been talks regarding a new deal. Despite the lack of playing time, the 31-year-old indicated that he’d like to stick around in Philadelphia beyond this season. With Brian Elliott and Michal Neuvirth both unlikely to return, Talbot could wind up getting his wish but will need to take a reduction on his current $4.167MM AAV.
Elsewhere in the East:
- The Senators could have center Zack Smith back in the lineup on Thursday night, reports Postmedia’s Ken Warren. He has missed the last two games with lingering back issues so it’s possible he’ll see limited action down the stretch. Meanwhile, defenseman Cody Ceci is making progress in his recovery from an upper-body injury that has caused him to miss the last three games although there remains no timetable for his return.
- While the Panthers have been speculatively linked to winger Artemi Panarin and goalie Sergei Bobrovsky in free agency, GM Dale Tallon told Ken Campbell of The Hockey News that they will be looking to utilize their cap room (which figures to be in the $20MM range depending on the increase to the Upper Limit) to bolster their back end. Florida has struggled considerably keeping the puck out of their net this season as only two teams have allowed more goals than they have. However, aside from Erik Karlsson (who is more of an offensive blueliner than a defensive one), there aren’t many impact rearguards that project to be available on the open market. With that in mind, there’s a good chance they’ll have to go the trade route to upgrade on defense.