Capped: Talbot Strikes Oil

by Scott Maran on January 21, 2016
  • Capped
  • Capped: Talbot Strikes Oil

What are the fantasy implications of Cam Talbot's contract extention?

On Sunday, Edmonton Oilers goalie Cam Talbot signed a three-year contract extension with the Edmonton Oilers worth about $12.5 million, or $4.17 million a year. After being traded from the New York Rangers at last year’s, Talbot has played 27 games in an Oiler’s uniform and has maintained a 9-13-3 record with a .915 save percentage.

Cam Talbot went undrafted but signed a contract with the New York Rangers in 2010. From there, he honed his game in the AHL and steadily increased his save percentage season after season. In his rookie season in the AHL, Talbot averaged only a .902 save percentage in 22 games but steadily progressed. The next season Talbot raised his save percentage to .913, then .918, and started the 2013-2014 season with a .924 save percentage. It was then the Rangers realized he was ready to play in the NHL and Talbot graduated to the big leagues where he would play a total of 57 games for the Rangers. Talbot flourished in the Rangers system and averaged a .941 save percentage in 21 games in the 2013-2014 season and a .926 save percentage in the next season in 36 games. This made him a sought after goalie and he was dealt to Edmonton.

 

 

Team

Games Played

Save Percentage

GAA

2010-2011

Connecticut Whale

22

.902 SV%

2.84 GAA

2011-2012

Connecticut Whale

33

.913 SV%

2.61 GAA

2012-2013

Connecticut Whale

55

.918 SV%

2.63 GAA

2013-2014

Hartford Wolf Pack

5

.924 SV%

2.49 GAA

2013-2014

New York Rangers

21

.941 SV%

1.64 GAA

2014-2015

New York Rangers

36

.926 SV%

2.21 GAA

2015-2016

Edmonton Oilers

26

.914 SV%

2.58 GAA

 

However, Talbot’s first season in Edmonton has been much more sporadic and unpredictable than most would have hoped for. Talbot only carries a .914 save percentage and has looked terrible for long stretches this year. One only needs to look at the beginning of the season, specifically from late-October to mid-December. During this stretch, Talbot only played in 10 games due to his poor play and the rise of Anders Nilsson. Even in the few games Talbot was able to start, Talbot had a difficult time. In that same set of 10 games, Talbot only managed to have a save percentage over .900 twice. Twice, in about two months. Recently Talbot has played well but that hardly merits a new, $4 million contract for three years.

Given all this information, I don’t see the reasoning behind this deal for Edmonton. Talbot is a relatively unproven goalie (he only has played 84 career NHL games) and his play has only been average at best this year. With so many undesirable contracts on the books for Edmonton (I’m looking at you Ference), it’s not like the Oilers have a lot of salary cap room to afford adding another potential bad contract. I do like Talbot’s potential and he has shown in New York that he can play at a high level, but I think Edmonton gave him a little too much money. There’s just as good of a chance that Talbot starts playing poorly again further into the season and Talbot becomes another goalie Edmonton took a chance on and whiffed, similar to Ben Scrivens and Viktor Fasth. At least the term on the contract isn’t that long but $4 million isn’t cheap for a relatively unproven goalie that may or may not preform well in Edmonton’s system. I think Talbot should have received a deal more like Martin Jones, a three year, nine million dollar contract.

Fantasy Impact

As of fantasy implications, Talbot’s contract extension hurts but is far from bad. Compared to other starting goalies, one could consider Talbot’s contract as cheap.

 

 

Cap Hit

Goalie Salary Ranking

2015-2016 SV%

Devan Dubnyk

$4.333 million

22nd in the NHL

.921

Craig Anderson

$4.2 million

23rd in the NHL

.916

Cam Talbot

$4.166 million

24th in the NHL

.915

Jonathan Bernier

$4.15 million

25th in the NHL

.899

Steve Mason

$4.1 million

26th in the NHL

.915

 

Talbot’s contract slots him 24th in the league, right behind Craig Anderson’s $4.2 million contract and right above Jonathan Bernier’s $4.15 contract. With Edmonton holding the potential to become a future powerhouse, Talbot may be able to provide a cheap source for wins and should be able to give a fantasy owner league average goaltending. Also important is that this contract extension shows the Oiler’s commitment to Talbot. With a brand-new contract, Edmonton is giving Talbot the keys to the starting job and fantasy owners can expect him to get the bulk of the starts. His salary may be tripled now, but there should be less worry over Nilsson stealing some starts next year.