Sunday, August 11, 2019

Cam Talbot: Two Jersey Cards

One of the most bizarre situations in the NHL free agent market this summer was the Calgary Flames/Edmonton Oilers goalie switcheroo, where Cam Talbot, disgraced Oilers starter, signed with the Flames, while Mike Smith, the on-the-outs starter for his second straight team, made the reverse choice.

Yet the Flames still technically have a question mark in nets, with sophomore David Rittich acting as the incumbent #1 and Talbot a sort of wild card, having finished fourth in Vezina voting (he should have finished second to winner Sergei Bobrovsky - and Devan Dubnyk third - ahead of official finalists Braden Holtby and Carey Price) in 2016-17 but been on a downhill slope since then due to a mix of being overplayed and playing behind a sub-par defense in a system that either did not take defense into consideration or that players were not following at all.

Which Talbot are the Flames getting, at this point? It's extremely hard to tell, but they're hoping he'll be good-but-not-great so they can keep building Rittich into their next go-to guy, but not average enough that they need to play the young one more than 55 games.

Talbot aims to play well enough to earn a starting job anywhere in the NHL, which would also come with the additional perk of doubling the $2.75M cap hit he'll take in 2019-20, on a one-year show-me deal. I was honestly surprised anyone gave him a deal with the same salary as safe bet Jaroslav Halak is getting with the Stanley Cup finalist Boston Bruins, especially since the Flames are a team whose players pay no provincial taxes and get to keep more of their paycheck.

Here are two cards of Talbot's wearing the Oilers' beautiful white (now-away) uniform, on card #GJ-CT from Upper Deck's 2017-18 Series 1 set and UD Game Jersey sub-set, with blue game-worn jersey swatches:
Regular readers who feel they've seen this card before are right, as I featured a third identical card last February. I am obviously open to trading at least two of these.

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