Bad turns to worse, and it seems to be the case for the Edmonton Oilers and their star goalie Cam Talbot. During the draft weekend, there was looming rumors that Talbot had been placed on the trade block, which was quickly denied by general manager Peter Chiarelli. The Oilers GM maintained that both sides were close to a contract extension agreement and it was only a matter of time.
However, it will be more time. A lot more than a few days...
According to the information provided by David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period, both Talbot and the Oilers have decided to pull a hold on contract negotiations. Both parties have decided to stop any contract extension talks until the new season gets underway.
It might work in the favour of the Oilers: Chiarelli may just want to see how Talbot is in the first half of the upcoming season before deciding whether or not to offer a long-term deal. If he struggles, then he’s in play at next year’s trade deadline as a rental with a modified no-trade, which lists 10 teams he can be traded to.
The Chicago Blackhawks might be pushing for a play here with the Oilers. The goaltending situation in Chicago was a complete mess this past season and starting goalie Corey Crawford’s injury was one of the main reasons the Hawks missed out on the postseason for the first time in 11 seasons.
On Thursday in Dallas, as the Blackhawks got ready for the NHL entry draft, general manager Stan Bowman commented on Crawford's situation and recovering, and his first statement sounded quite concerning for the die-hard Hawks fans, as reported by Mark Lazerus, Hawks insider for the Chicago Sun Times.
"I don't really have an update. ... We expect Corey to be back. We don't have any reason to think that's not going to happen."
The Hawks, or any team looking for a netminder like the New York Islanders, might be calling the Oilers for Talbot, but let's not forget that other goaltenders are available on the trade or via the free-agent market. The Buffalo Sabres have confirmed that they will not make a qualifying offer to Robin Lehner, so have the Philadelphia Flyers and Petr Mzarek while Carolina Hurricanes veteran goalie Cam Ward is expected to test free agency.
It was also revealed this morning that Ottawa Senators goaltender Craig Anderson could also be on the move. The Senators are said to be working with agent Justin Duberman to try and find a potential new home.
The rumour was also mentioned in NHL Insider Elliotte Friedman's 10 Thoughts article on this week's rumblings on Sportsnet:
"Senators GM Pierre Dorion made it clear the likely outcome is he keeps the fourth-overall selection and doesn’t give it to Colorado. Dorion wouldn’t discuss specific players on his roster, but one other name to add to Erik Karlsson and Zack Smith as trade potential is Craig Anderson."
Just a weird time to be an NHL goalie, it seems...