Author: Jason Brough

Cam Talbot

Poll: Have the Oilers fixed their goaltending?

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The Edmonton Oilers went into last season fairly confident that their goaltending would be better.

It was not.

In fact, based on team save percentage, the Oilers had the worst goaltending in the NHL, at .888.

And so a couple of things happened. First, Peter Chiarelli replaced Craig MacTavish as general manager. Second, Chiarelli acquired Cam Talbot from the Rangers.

Talbot went 21-9-4 with a .926 save percentage last season — which was very good — but the 28-year-old has started only 53 career NHL games — which is not much to go on.

“I think he’s really come into his own,” Chiarelli said of Talbot, per the Edmonton Journal. “With a goalie like that, there’s a smaller sample size for these guys, so you never know. It’s such an inexact science these goalies. But he’s played really well for two years now. And he really played well in crunch time for the Rangers.”

Talbot will compete with incumbent Ben Scrivens for the net next season. Both goalies are pending unrestricted free agents, so the club isn’t tied to either long term. Another goalie, Anders Nilsson, is in the mix, too.

OK, time to vote:

Related: Talbot knows he has a ‘great opportunity’ in Edmonton

Report: Patrick Kane the subject of a rape investigation (Updated w/Video)

Patrick Kane
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From the Buffalo News:

Hamburg police are investigating an incident reportedly involving Patrick Kane, the Chicago Blackhawks star, two sources with knowledge of the probe have told The Buffalo News.

Two sources said Hamburg police officials have forbidden their officers and detectives from publicly discussing the investigation.

“We can neither confirm nor deny the existence or nonexistence of a criminal investigation until such a time as a person is charged with a crime,” said Hamburg Police Chief Gregory G. Wickett.

Update:

The Buffalo News is now reporting via sources that a “local woman has accused Kane of a sexual assault” and that “the woman went to a hospital and that tests using a rape kit were performed.”

The Blackhawks told the Chicago Sun-Times: “We are aware of the matter and are in the process of gathering information. It would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.”

The NHL told WIVB: “We are aware of a police investigation and are following the developments.”

Kane, of course, has a history of off-ice incidents, the most serious being an altercation with a Buffalo cab driver in 2009.

Hamburg is a town just south of Buffalo.

WKBW has reported that there was an alleged “incident” between Kane and “a woman that began at a bar in Evans.”

Evans is also a town just south of Buffalo.

Derek Roy’s agent ‘can’t believe nobody in the NHL will sign’ his client

Edmonton Oilers v Pittsburgh Penguins
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Derek Roy’s agent understands why his client wasn’t re-signed by the Edmonton Oilers, but he “can’t believe” that one of the other 29 NHL teams won’t give the 32-year-old forward a contract.

“When (Oilers GM) Peter Chiarelli looks down the middle, he’s pretty small there with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, (Connor) McDavid’s not that big, Derek’s not that big, especially playing in the West. But I can’t believe nobody in the NHL will sign Derek,” Rob Hooper told the Edmonton Journal.

Roy started last season with Nashville before he was traded to Edmonton in December. In 46 games with the Oilers, he had 11 goals and 11 assists while earning partial credit for Nail Yakupov’s improved production.

“I was waiting for a center for three years,” Yakupov said in March. “It’s the first time I’ve had a really good center and I’m really happy for it.

“It’s easy to play with him. He can move the puck and he’s really smart. All I have to do is try to get open for a shot.”

Though Hooper concedes it’s “been very quiet for Derek,” he believes that some of that lack of interest can be attributed to the “cap issues” facing a number of teams.

Roy’s salary was just $1 million last season.

Avs re-sign goalie Pickard to one-year contract

Los Angeles Kings v Colorado Avalanche
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The Colorado Avalanche have signed goalie Calvin Pickard for another year, the club announced today.

It’s reportedly a two-way deal worth $850,500 at the NHL level.

Pickard is coming off an excellent rookie season, albeit in a limited role. The 23-year-old appeared in 16 games, 13 of them starts, and registered a .932 save percentage.

On three occasions, Pickard was forced to make more than 40 saves. That included a 47-save effort at Pittsburgh on Dec. 18, though the Avs actually lost that game, 1-0, in overtime.

With Semyon Varlamov firmly entrenched as the No. 1 in Colorado, Pickard will have to battle Reto Berra for the No. 2 role next season.

Given Pickard will be on a two-way deal and is exempt from waivers, more time in the minors seems likely.

2016 World Cup: Lombardi named GM of Team USA

2014 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Media Day
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Dean Lombardi has been named general manager of Team USA for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

Lombardi, the Los Angeles Kings’ GM, will be assisted by Flyers president Paul Holmgren, with additional help from Flames president of hockey ops Brian Burke and Jim Johannson, the assistant executive director of USA Hockey.

“We’re thrilled to have Dean at the helm of managing our World Cup team,” Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey, said in a release. “He’s been an invaluable part of our men’s national team advisory group and obviously done a remarkable job in building the Kings. In addition, having the experience of Paul Holmgren, Brian Burke and Jim Johannson gives us an exceptional management team and a group we’re confident will put together a team that our country will be proud of.”

The United States won the inaugural World Cup of Hockey in 1996. It was a semi-finalist in 2004 when Canada won.

Related: Unique World Cup format allows ‘more of the very best players’ to participate