Is Max Talbot on his way to the SM-liiga?
That’s the story out of Tampere on Tuesday, as club side Ilves announced it has agreed to a deal with the Flyers forward.
The deal appears to be contingent on the current work stoppage. The Ilves website alludes to a “lockout agreement” suggesting that, if CBA talks go sideways and the lockout appears primed to go longer, Talbot will jump the pond.
(That said, Ilves seems ready for Max to come on board — he’s already got his own player profile page on the site.)
It’s a curious decision by Talbot as he’s been anything but inactive during the labor strife. He, along with Flyers teammate Bruno Gervais, recently wrapped up La Tournee Des Joueurs, a barnstroming circuit of locked-out NHLers that played a series of games throughout the province of Quebec.
The games were a huge success — raising over $400,000 for charity — with veteran Montreal Gazette writer Pat Hickey classifying the level of play as “lots of hard skating and a surprising competitiveness.”
In Tampere, Talbot will join Tampa Bay goalie Anders Lindback and ex-Nashville Predators defenseman Ville Koistinen as the team’s lone players with NHL experience.
UPDATE: Looks like Talbot is signed, sealed and delivered to Tampere. Here’s the video evidence…
Talbot’s agent, Pat Brisson, also confirmed the signing to CSN Philadelphia’s Tim Panaccio.
CSN Philly’s Sarah Baicker reports Talbot is going “just to get a little competition and practice.”