The Case For Cam Talbot
The strongest case for Cam Talbot getting another NHL contract is that he'll be headed to the All-Star game in Toronto, a game that could introduce Leafs fans to Talbot as a goaltender.
Talbot was previously an All-Star in 2022, the 36-year-old showing he's still capable to be a top goalie at his best.
Talbot, a native of Caledonia, Ontario, a little over an hour outside of Toronto, grew up a Leafs fan in his childhood. Would Talbot, who has a NTC this season, be willing to waive in a potential deal to Toronto?
Or if the playoff hunt Kings don't sell, take a team-friendly deal to move to the Leafs? Talbot is only making $1M this season, although it would likely take a continued losing slide, and another goalie option, for Los Angeles to likely move Talbot this season, although being an all-star this season, it's likely Talbot may make a bit more next year.
If you're adding Talbot, you're banking on the Cam Talbot that was one of the best goalies early in the year, and has shown at his best he can be a reliable starter.
Talbot being a middle-of-the-pack goalie with the occasional peak period has been the story of his career. If you want a goalie in free agency for a year or two, Talbot may be worth taking as a transitional goalie, giving Denis Hildeby another year to work his way into an eventual NHL role. The younger Woll and Hildeby would benefit from a veteran net mentor as both work their way to a proper tandem.
Even though he's suffered a downturn in net in recent games, he's still just under .900 in 10 games with just 1 win, showing even in a rough patch he's still able to keep his head above water. Talbot is still rocking a .915SV% this season, better than Martin Jones at .911 and just below Joseph Woll at .916.
Talbot, who has played in 30 of LA's 43 games, may benefit from the lessened workload, whether in Los Angeles and Toronto, although the Kings need him more than the Leafs do, as evident by the amount of games played, and may be what keeps him in California.