It appears that Cam Talbot well be in the net for a few more years as the Edmonton Oilers have signed the goaltender to a three-year contract extension.
24 hours after Talbot made 31 saves in Edmonton’s 2-1 shootout victory over the Calgary Flames, the Oilers announced the contract extension. In his first season with the Oilers, Talbot, 28, is 8-13-3 with a 2.58 goals-against average, which ranks him 29th among qualifying goaltenders, and a .914 save percentage in 26 games this season. Talbot has posted a .912 even strength save percentage and recorded one shutout.
Edmonton has not disclosed financial terms of the extension, but according to TSN and ESPN’s Craig Custance, the deal is worth $12.5 million.
“It’s extremely exciting for me and my family,” Talbot said. “It’s an exciting time in Edmonton, and I’m just happy that I’m going to be around for the next three years to grow and improve with this team.”
Talbot was set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, and given the interest shown in him at the draft, he would have been a hot commodity on the open market.
Acquired from New York via trade after serving as Henrik Luquvist’s backup, Talbot is proving to be a streaky player but one that has had his fair share of shining moments this year. But Talbot has also struggles at times and those struggles have cost him the full-time starting gig, giving Anders Nilsson a number of starts this season.
“Sometimes it’s almost like you try harder and you are almost just putting yourself in worse positions,” Talbot said in December, per Kevin Woodley of NHL.com. “Every time things start going not your way you want to try to do more to force it, but that’s not the way it works in goaltending. You can’t just try harder.”
But Talbot has put on a strong performance over the past 2 months, improving his save rate to a 93.7 percent rate in December and January.
The contract extension is a bit of a gamble for the Oilers, but one that could pay off beautifully if Talbot can continue to be the player we have seen for the past 2 months. If not, Edmonton will be locked into a contract with a player who may be better off on the bench, an expensive one at that.