SUNRISE — The Edmonton Oilers have acquired yet another goalie in an attempt to fix what’s been a major problem for them.
Cam Talbot was traded to the Oilers today, along with the 209th overall pick in the 2015 draft, with three picks (57th, 79th, and 184th) going back to the Rangers.
Talbot turns 28 on July 5 and only has 53 career NHL starts to his name. But he was excellent in 2014-15 for the Rangers, particularly when Henrik Lundqvist was lost for a lengthy spell with an injury. Finishing 21-9-4 with a .926 save percentage, Talbot even garnered a third-place Vezina Trophy vote for his efforts.
His limited sample size is a risk for the Oilers, however. He’s never been a full-time starter in the NHL, and he’s had the advantage of playing behind an experienced Rangers squad that plays good team defense.
In Edmonton, Talbot will likely form a tandem with Ben Scrivens, the 28-year-old who joined the Oilers in a similar scenario in early 2014, only to struggle in his first full season with the club.
Both Talbot and Scrivens can become unrestricted free agents next summer.
Related: What are the Oilers going to do about their goaltending?
SUNRISE — The Dallas Stars have acquired goalie Antti Niemi from the San Jose Sharks. As Niemi is a pending unrestricted free agent, the return was limited to a seventh-round pick (193rd overall) in today’s draft.
The Stars now hold Niemi’s negotiating rights until June 30.
Dallas was expected to address its goaltending this offseason. The position was a major issue for the Stars last season — perhaps the number-one reason they missed the playoffs.
In Niemi, they get a former Stanley Cup winner and Vezina finalist.
“Antti is a proven goaltender who has played and succeeded at the highest levels,” GM Jim Nill said in a release. “He’s one of the hardest working goalies out there and we look forward to working towards an agreement.”
If Niemi signs, he’ll presumably form a tandem with fellow Finn Kari Lehtonen, who still has three years left on his contract.
Related: UFA of the Day: Antti Niemi
The Buffalo Sabres are going to be better next season.
In part, because it’d be hard to be worse.
But mostly because the roster has been significantly improved by GM Tim Murray, who not only drafted Jack Eichel yesterday, but also added Ryan O’Reilly, Robin Lehner, Jamie McGinn, and David Legwand in trades.
We’ll assume Eichel goes pro and does not go back to school, though he still hasn’t announced a decision. The Sabres will also have Evander Kane, the goal-scoring winger they got from Winnipeg. And Sam Reinhart, the second overall pick in 2014, should be ready too.
On top of all that, they’ll have a Stanley Cup-winning head coach in Dan Bylsma.
Though Murray believes it may take some time for the group to gel, he was clearly happy with how his plan had come together.
“I can tell you that our players back home are excited,” Murray told reporters, per NHL.com. “I got a couple texts from different guys, and if that excitement that they showed today carries over into training camp, I believe we can improve by quite a bit. In saying that, we’ve got a long way to go to improve to get to be competitive or a playoff team.”