The Rangers have re-signed goaltender Cam Talbot through the 2015-16 season, with a one-year contract extension worth $1.45 million as reported by Larry Brooks.
Rangers have signed Cam Talbot to one-year, $1.45M extension through 2015-16, Post has learned. #NYR
— Larry Brooks (@NYP_Brooksie) December 19, 2014
Talbot, 27, is an alumni of the University of Alabama-Huntsville who spent the first three years of his professional career playing with the Hartford Wolf Pack/Connecticut Whale of the AHL. Following the retirement of Martin Biron during the opening month of last season, Talbot was called upon to serve as Henrik Lundqvist’s new backup despite never previously playing an NHL game.
In 21 appearances for New York during the 2013-14 campaign, Talbot posted an impressive 12-6-1 record, 1.64 goals against average, and a .941 save percentage with three shutouts. It was an eyebrow-raising rookie season for Talbot, who proved to be not just a capable backup, but a valuable asset with regards to Henrik Lundqvist.
Since his first full season as the starting goaltender for New York back in 2006-07 –excluding the lockout shortened season in 2013- Lundqvist has averaged 68 games in net for the Rangers. Last season, with Talbot as his backup Lundqvist only played in 62 games, and was extremely effective far into the 2014 playoffs.
The only other season pre-Talbot when Lundqvist played in 62 games was during the 2011-12 season, when the Rangers also went on an extended playoff run.
This should go without saying, but with more rest during the regular season, comes more success for the Swedish native netminder when it really counts.
After some minor struggles in the very early going this season, Talbot is again proving to be an extremely valuable piece of the puzzle for the Rangers. Despite his 2-3-1 record, Talbot has played well, as he’s posted a .921 save percentage, and a 2.34 goals against average. He is also the lone NHL goaltender with six starts or less who has also posted two shutouts.
If the salary cap rises to what it is expected to for next season, somewhere in the $73 million range, the Rangers will have approximately $25.5 million to get Derek Stepan, Marc Staal, Carl Hagelin, Jesper Fast, JT Miller, John Moore, Martin St. Louis, Mats Zuccarello, Matt Hunwick and Lee Stempniak under contract. While it’s hard to imagine every one of those players will return, even re-signing eight of those ten will still be a tall task for Glen Sather.
A backup goaltender is often grossly underappreciated. Cam Talbot has filled that role swimmingly for the Rangers over the past season-plus, and not having to search for another goaltender this summer, in addition to working to re-sign all others whose contracts expire at the conclusion of this season, is a big positive. It’s just one less thing to worry about heading into the offseason.
Cam Talbot is a big member of this New York Rangers team, and securing him through the next season and a half is a big win for the Broadway Blueshirts.
Good work on the part of Glen Sather on this one.
Oh, and who would Chris Kreider kiss if Talbot were to leave?
Jake Gittler is now in his second season as a contributing member of The Hockey Writers. After spending the 2014-15 season working in Communications for Adirondack Flames of the AHL and covering the New York Rangers here for The Hockey Writers, Jake’s coverage has been switched over to the Colorado Avalanche for the 2015-16 season. Jake can be reached via email at Jakegittler@gmail.com, or on Twitter @Jgittler_hockey.