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Cam Talbot trade rumors heating up, Nail Yakupov available, Klein Trade?

Bobby Bevilacqua

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It seems more and more likely that Cam Talbot will be traded, but now the price is climbing. Could first round draft picks or prospects be headed New York’s way? Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

For quite a while now, it’s been assumed that the Rangers are going to move backup goaltender Cam Talbot during this offseason, capitalizing on his higher-than-ever trade value and moving him before he would likely leave after next season.

It was known that Talbot would draw interest from teams in need of a starting goalie, and for a few reasons.

First off, the market for a goaltender is quite weak. There is no chance that the Minnesota Wild will let Vezina Trophy finalist Devan Dubnyk walk, and he will almost definitely be back in a Wild uniform next year. Martin Jones is going to be re-signed by the Kings, and Antti Niemi is a proven number one starter, but he will be very pricey.

Out of all of the remaining options, including free agents and current back-ups, Talbot seems to be the best candidate for the job. Robin Lehner and Eddie Lack are two other options for a team looking for a goalie, but Talbot has been a better player.

Talbot proved to the hockey world that he is capable of taking over the No. 1 goalie role after Henrik Lundqvist went down with a vascular injury. Talbot stepped in and played 23 games, finishing that stretch with a 16-4-3 record with a 2.16 goals against average and a .929 save percentage.

He wound up finishing the season with an impressive 21-9-4 record, a 2.21 GAA and a .926 save percentage, along with five shutouts. His career numbers are even better, boasting a 33-15-5 record, a 2.00 GAA along with a .931 save percentage, spread out over 51 games.

On top of all of that, Talbot is very affordable, with a cap hit of just $1.45 million for the upcoming year.

In an article by Adam Herman from Blueshirt Banter, he predicted that the Rangers would be able to get a second or third round pick in exchange for Talbot, depending on the market for goalies. Frankly, I agreed with him. But it seems like the return will wind up being much greater.

As of right now, the Edmonton Oilers are believed to be the frontrunners for Talbot’s services. Ben Scrivens and Viktor Fasth were not all that good, and they have a plethora of draft picks and prospects to exchange.

Lately, it’s been rumored that Oilers would be willing to part ways with the 16th overall pick in the upcoming draft, which would be a huge return for Talbot. The Rangers have not had a first round draft pick since 2012.

If it’s not a first round pick, then the Rangers may be able to snag a second round pick and a prospect, preferably a forward. Edmonton is full of forward prospects, both in the NHL and in lower leagues, and would certainly part with a second round pick in hope of getting their goalie of the future.

Pam Murray, who broke the news that the Oilers would be willing to part ways with the 16th pick for Talbot, also said that Nail Yakupov is a player that the Oilers would be willing to trade. Yakupov, 21, finished this season with 14 goals and 19 assists.

The Oilers are the frontrunners, but there are other teams interested as well. San Jose has supposedly been interested for a while now, with Antti Niemi likely on his way out. Now that it seems like it would require a good return to get Cam, could Sather potentially acquire a prospect like Melker Karlsson from San Jose? According to Darren Dreger, other teams that are now rumored to be interested in trading for Talbot are the Buffalo Sabres, Calgary Flames, Dallas Stars and the Florida Panthers. Buffalo is looking to finish up their rebuild, The Flames bounced between two goalies throughout the year and the playoffs, Kari Lehtonen was unreliable this year, and Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo just turned 36.

Here are the draft picks through the first three rounds from all of the interested parties;

Edmonton: 1.16 – 33, 57 – 79, 86

San Jose: 9 – 39

Buffalo: 2, 21 – 31, 51

Calgary: 15 – 42, 52, 53 – 76, 83

Dallas – 12 – 49

Florida: 11 – 77, 88

If I had to guess, the Edmonton is probably where Talbot is going to end up. But I still find it hard to believe that they would trade the 16th pick straight up, or a second round pick and a prospect for Talbot. With the Rangers looking to free up cap space, perhaps they may cash in on Kevin Klein’s breakout season, and it would also give Edmonton a reliable defensive-defenseman, something they are lacking. Trading Talbot and Klein would free up $4.35 million in cap space.

If Klein was traded, then that would allow Brady Skjei to compete for a roster spot out of training camp. After joining Hartford after the Minnesota Gophers were eliminated, Skjei joined the Wolf pack, immediately accept big minutes, becoming a top-two defenseman by the Eastern Conference Finals. He’s an excellent skater, and the defensive aspect of his game is already there. Skjei is said to have a high upside offensively.

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There is some speculation that the Rangers may wind up trading Kevin Klein along with Cam Talbot, freeing up more cap space and giving Brady Skjei a chance to crack the opening night roster. Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

Finding a cap-friendly backup to replace Talbot shouldn’t be too hard. The Rangers have a very good opportunity to free up some cap space, recuperate lost draft picks, and maybe even pick up a solid prospect or two.

Stay tuned Rangers fans, a potential blockbuster deal could be in the works.

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Posted on June 18, 2015, in Rangers Updates and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Thanks for the read! My hope is that the Rangers package Cam & K2 for a Pick and Nail Yakupov. If required, add Hagelin to the deal and grab a higher pick (or more picks) to go along with Yakupov. The picks could be parlayed into more picks later in the draft via another trade. I believe that after the first several picks, draft picks become a crap shoot, even if this particular draft is a deep one. i.e. – I would rather have 2 second round picks than have 1 mid-to-late first.

    Yakupov is deemed quite a risk by many, but a change in environment & coaching may do this young man some good. He absolutely has the ability to be a top scorer in the league, and from what I have seen, he is a likeable fellow that works hard. Certainly not a locker-room detriment.

    My only question with Yak is “Intelligence”. No doubt he has natural gifts, no doubt he wants to succeed, & no doubt he works hard. The one thing that could hold him back is the intelligence to coordinate productively with teammates and out-think the opposition.

    I’m willing to take the risk with Yakupov.

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    • Very well said! I can’t say I argue with your trade suggestions. And thank you for the insight on Yakupov, I did not know a whole lot about his background. And while the draft can be a crap shoot, it’s certainly worthwhile to recuperate as many lost picks as possible. Thanks for reading and thank you for the insight!

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  2. Cory Schneider who was a proven goalie only got the 9th pick. It is wishful thinking that Talbot will get the 16th pick He will get the 33rd at most.

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    • There is no way Oilers would give up Yakupov in this deal. While he hasn’t proven himself yet, he really started to come around again last year, once Eakins was gone. He is a former first overall pick and while the Oilers probably would trade him, they would need more in order to part with a kid who is still 21 and who still has a lot of upside.

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      • Oilers are in no position to make demands to compensate for potentially trading a young skilled player with six teams bidding for Talbot’s services. The Oiler’s need is goalie and Rangers is a skilled young player to add to the roster. If the NY ask for Nail and EDM really wanst Talbot, the Oilers must consider or else no deal. There are other suitors.

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  3. Lehner from Ottawa and Lack from Vancouver are also available as well as some UFA Goalies like Niemi. So the supply is not as thin as you think. Last I heard there will be 8-10 quality tenders that are/will be available.

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  4. So apparently the return for Talbot was alot closer to what I said it would be. The 57th and 79th and swapping 7th round picks. That’s a far cry from the 16 o/a plus that you all were expecting.

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