Fantasy Take: Oilers and Flyers Swap Goalies

by Ian Gooding on February 16, 2019


The Edmonton Oilers have traded goalie Cam Talbot to the Philadelphia Flyers for goalie Anthony Stolarz.

The Oilers were rumored to be discussing this trade for the past few days, so this isn’t a trade that necessarily comes out of left field. When the Oilers signed Mikko Koskinen to his three-year, $4.5 million per season extension, the writing was on the wall as far as Talbot’s future in Edmonton beyond this season. Then the cap-tight Oilers had to move salary quickly with Andrej Sekera returning from injury, a problem they created when they traded for Brandon Manning and Alex Petrovic earlier this season.

This trade might take care of one problem for the Oilers, but there are certainly many more.
 


Talbot joins a Flyers’ team that now has five goalies on its roster: Carter Hart, Mike McKenna, Brian Elliott (on IR), Michal Neuvirth (also on IR), and now Talbot. Elliott is currently on a conditioning stint in the AHL, and with the Flyers unlikely to re-sign him in the offseason, he could be traded at the deadline. His $2.75 million cap hit would be an easier pill for teams to swallow than Talbot’s $4.16 million cap hit. Elliott was originally thought to be the goalie that would be coming to Edmonton when the Talbot trade was just a rumor.

Since the rookie Hart is one of the league’s hottest goalies, Talbot could take on a role as a veteran backup/mentor while starting about every third game. The Flyers play back-to-backs this weekend with the Red Wings, so with travel it’s possible that he plays his first game as a Flyer as early as Sunday. For the time being, it appears that he’ll be on a reduced workload in Philly. He may not even play many games as a Flyer, as he is a UFA this offseason. There’s still a chance that Hart is sent back to the AHL once Elliott returns, which doesn’t make a lot of sense hockey-wise, but that’s the way the cap world is. Hart returning to the AHL would help Talbot’s short-term value if Talbot and Elliott share the goaltending in Philly.

Back to Edmonton. The trade fully clears the way for Koskinen to take over as the full-time starter. This might have something to do with him playing for the Oilers, but Koskinen is still owned in only 36 percent of Yahoo leagues. That ownership level should likely increase with this news, but whether Koskinen actually helps fantasy teams the rest of the way is another debate. Stolarz likely won’t start more than once every third or fourth game for the Oilers, but he gets an upgrade because he will be the backup in Edmonton after being one of about eight goalies in Philly. Stolarz is an RFA after this season and could also return to Edmonton in a similar role next season.

Players this helps, in order (the Oilers’ goalies):

Koskinen

Stolarz

Players this hurts, in order (the Flyers’ goalies):

Talbot

Elliott

Neuvirth

Hart

Fantasy owners are already weighing in on the trade in the Forum. Give your take here!