The New York Rangers have taken the next step in an attempt to trade goaltender Cam Talbot.
According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, the Rangers have given the Calgary Flames, Dallas Stars, Edmonton Oilers, San Jose Sharks and Buffalo Sabres permission to speak with Talbot.
Friedman reports that teams are allowed to talk to the 27-year-old about how he would fit with the club and answer questions Talbot may have about the city, but are not permitted to discuss salary.
Talbot finished the 2014-15 season with a 21-9-4 record to go along with a 2.21 G.A.A. and a .926 save percentage in 36 appearances.
He is owed $1.45 million for next season before becoming an unrestricted free agent.
Related: Chiarelli thinks Oilers will probably add a goalie before draft
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He won a Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks, and he was a Vezina finalist with the Sharks. So his agent does have a good story to sell.
“I have to think he’s going to be one of the most sought-after goalies on the market,” Markus Lehto told ESPN.com.
But Niemi, 31, is also coming off a couple of so-so seasons in San Jose. His save percentage was .913 in 2013-14 and .914 in 2014-15, when the league average was .915.
While the Sharks have not ruled out bringing Niemi back, and Niemi has not “closed the door” on the Sharks, most expect him to move on.
Niemi’s future is likely to be determined in part by the trade market. Younger goalies like Cam Talbot, Robin Lehner, and Eddie Lack could all be dealt by July 1. Once the dust clears there, it’ll be easier to nail down his options.
Other UFA goalies include Devan Dubnyk, Karri Ramo, Michal Neuvirth, and Jhonas Enroth.
If Dubnyk somehow fails to reach a deal with the Wild, the market will become further convoluted.
Click here for more UFAs.
It doesn’t sound like Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp will be traded to the Dallas Stars.
“He’s a great player, but he’s not what we need right now,” a Stars official told the Dallas Morning News. “It’s that simple.”
Chicago was reportedly eyeing 25-year-old winger Antoine Roussel in return for Sharp, 33, who has two years remaining on his contract, with a cap hit of $5.9 million.
The Pittsburgh Penguins and Florida Panthers have also reportedly shown interest in Sharp.
Related: A holdover from the ‘dark days,’ does Sharp have a future in Chicago?