Flyers Acquire G Cam Talbot from Edmonton for Anthony Stolarz
Goalie number eight, come on down!
The Philadelphia Flyers have acquired G Cam Talbot from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for fellow goalie Anthony Stolarz. The news came out very early on Saturday morning, but was not confirmed by the Flyers until later this morning.
The big question many people are asking is why trade Stolarz, a younger goalie with better numbers for Talbot, a pending UFA? The first reason is that Cam Talbot is essentially BFF's with Carter Hart. The two have trained with each other for the last two summers, and Talbot reached out to Hart prior to his NHL debut. Obviously, anything that can be done to help Hart, the Flyers goalie of the future, is a good thing, and this move certainly does that.
Reason number two is track record. Talbot put up very strong numbers in his first 2 NHL seasons as a backup for the Rangers, then put up an excellent season as the Oilers starter in 2016-17. However, he was overworked, which, combined with an awful Oilers defense in front of him, have seen his numbers dip over the last 2 seasons. The Flyers are hoping with a little more help defensively and a less strenuous workload, Talbot can return to his once strong form.
Last, despite the beliefs of many Flyers fans, it remains to be seen whether or not Anthony Stolarz is a viable long-term NHL option. He's had a lengthy injury history already, and while he does have a solid .911 career SV%, it's in just 19 games. Small sample size and recency bias have played a role in Stollie's evaluation in the eyes of many Flyers fans. Also, unless he played 11 games down the stretch, Stolarz was also going to be a pending UFA, unlikely to re-sign with the Flyers because of the bevy of goalies the team has.
Overall, I'm not in love with this trade, but it's not awful either. I see Talbot as more likely to be the Flyers backup next year than Stolarz, but the latter is cheaper and has better numbers this season. I thought Chuck Fletcher would've been able to gain a mid to late round pick in the deal, but then again the Oilers can't be fleeced as easy as when they still had Peter Chiarelli. Hopefully, Talbot can prove as a viable option as the Flyers backup for the end of the season, if not longer.