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The Cam Talbot Trade Rumors Rage On

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Look! A new thread!

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Oh boy, I guess we're rolling up our sleeves and getting back into this again, aren't we?

From Elliotte Friedman's peerless 30 Thoughts:

A couple of GMs indicated Cam Talbot is probably the top choice among cap-friendly, potential No. 1 options. Another suggested Lack second and Robin Lehner third.

And from Larry Brooks' piece yesterday in the New York Post:

The safest bet going into the June 26-27 draft weekend is the Blueshirts will indeed trade Cam Talbot. Several well-placed sources report there is a "significant" amount of interest in the soon-to-be 28-year-old goaltender, with inquiries not confined to clubs seeking a No. 1, but from some as well looking for a backup.

The Rangers are seeking to maximize the return in draft picks for the netminder, who was the team's most valuable player the second half of the season during Henrik Lundqvist's extended absence.

Not everyone is buying the rumors floating around about the Rangers moving Cam Talbot to the Oilers and landing the 16th pick in the NHL Draft on June 26th (the pick was originally the Penguins, it came over in the David Perron trade). David Staples from the Edmonton Journal thinks that Talbot, at best, is worth a second round pick. However, other pieces might be involved in what now seems like the inevitable Talbot trade, and depending on what they are we could see the Rangers picking in the first round on June 26th or maybe bringing in a high-end prospect.

It's no secret that the Oilers need some help on their blue line and the Rangers currently have six defensemen under contract at an average cap hit of $4.32 million. The blueliners currently under contract with the Rangers take up 41% of the cap, that number is helped to look dramatic and alarming thanks to the fact that only seven Blueshirts' forwards are under contract for next season. It goes without saying that given the number of key RFAs the Rangers have to get under contract this offseason, the club should look into  freeing up some cap space by moving one of their defensemen.

I know that some of you are already piecing together your trade packages centered around Dan Girardi and Marc Staal, but moving either of them is pretty damn unlikely. Of the six defensemen who were a part of the main roster last season and in the 2015 Playoffs only two of them don't have a no movement clause- Kevin Klein and Keith Yandle.

Rangers' Defensemen

(statistics from generalfanager.com)

Name, Age

Cap Hit

Contract clauses in effect?

Contract Expires

Kevin Klein, 30

$2.9 million

n/a

2017-18

Dan Girardi, 31

$5.5 million

NMC

2019-20

Marc Staal, 29

$5.75 million

NMC

2020-21

Keith Yandle, 28

$2.75 million (RS)

n/a

2015-16

Dylan McIlrath, 23

RFA

n/a

RFA

Mat Bodie, 25

RFA

n/a

RFA

Conor Allen, 25

RFA

n/a

RFA

Considering the price that was paid for Yandle at the deadline and how manageable his cap hit is (the lowest of the NHL mainstays that are under contract), I just don't think we'll be seeing him moved. We've already heard that Dan Boyle is returning to the team next season to finish out his contract and we all know that Ryan McDonagh's name isn't going to come up in any upcoming trades. Starting to look like Klein is not only the best option, but in a lot of ways he is the Rangers' only option.

Back in late March our own Adam Herman took a look at some of the recent trades involving backups that seemed to have the stuff to be starters and he came to the conclusion that more often than not, the market price for a backup goaltender is a 3rd round pick... unless the other team is desperate.

The Edmonton Oilers are desperate and they already made some waves by making Todd McLellan the second-highest paid coach in the National Hockey League. They have options other than Cam Talbot to consider for addressing their serious goaltending need and some of those other options would only cost the team money, not picks. You can find a list of the pending UFA goaltenders here. Will the 31 year old Antti Niemi follow his former coach to Edmonton for a job that is not all that different from being that guy that putters around at driving ranges in that armored golf cat while being pelted with balls rocketing off of 1-woods? I suppose the more important question is whether or not Niemi is the goalie that the Oilers want.

If the Rangers can put together a package where they can offer three seasons of Kevin Klein at a fixed cap hit coming off of his anomalous 2014-15 season, Cam Talbot, and a prospect, they might tempt the Oilers to take a shot at killing two birds with one stone and adding two nice pieces from the Presidents' Trophy-winning Rangers. Given the amount of rumors that we've heard over the last two years tying Cam Talbot to Edmonton, it is safe to assume that he is the goalie at the top of their wish list.

Oh, whatever you do, don't tell anyone that Kevin Klein's shooting percentage jumped 8.6% and that he was second only to Trevor Daley in that category among defensemen who played at least 30 games. We'll just keep that between us, my friends.

An early pick in the second round (the Oilers have two picks in the second round in the draft) certainly doesn't sound like a bad deal for the Rangers, but if Sather (who is staying on until at least July 1st) can find a way to put together a more significant deal and try and help alleviate some of the club's cap woes while selling high on Cam Talbot and Kevin Klein, he should have his finger on the trigger. It will mean more cap room to play with when negotiating the contracts of Derek Stepan, Carl Hagelin, J.T. Miller, and Jesper Fast. The Rangers would certainly like to add an early draft pick, but maybe what the Oilers (or another trading partner) are willing to part ways with is a high-end prospect or a young player with a cap-friendly deal. Honestly, we just won't know until we know but moving Klein and Talbot for a high pick and/or a prospect/young player seems like it should be something that could benefit both teams.

There are a few young guys, including top prospect Brady Skjei and 22 year old Petr Zamorsky, who are hungry to make the kind of impression at training camp that can win a roster spot. There are also very affordable bottom pair UFA blueliners to pursue in the offseason (or in the case of Matt Hunwick retain). In short, there are bodies out there that can replace or even improve on what Kevin Klein brought to the team in the Rangers' defensive zone.

I'm sure this gathering storm of a trade rumor will get darker, sillier, and louder as we approach the NHL Draft. We'll do our best to keep you posted with only the most reliable of sources, insight, and analysis. Let's all hope for some Glen Sather trade magic in the near future, I'm sure he has at least one more trick up his sleeve.

Let's go Rangers.