We are just a few weeks away from the NHL Draft and right after that will be Free Agency. This period is when the majority of NHL teams are going to set their rosters up for the following year and that means the GMs are doing the work that goes into those changes.
Anybody with even a passing interest in Oilers hockey knows that they need a goaltender and Pierre LeBrun is reporting that they are leaving no stone unturned.
As per LeBrun the Oil have inquired about Lehner, Talbot, and Gibson in the quest to fill their need in net. From my seat one of those names is not like the others. One of those names just doesn't belong.
Robin Lehner is a prospect who once upon a time had quite the shine on him, but that has since worn off due to injury and ineffectiveness. He had a good year in both the NHL and AHL in 2012-2013 but before and after that he's been pretty meh. There's a reason he's the odd man out in the Ottawa goaltender situation.
The other two names that LeBrun mentions are much more interesting. I would imagine Talbot is more available than Gibson who many believe stands to be at least the 1B in Anaheim soon.
John Gibson is a 21 year old Goaltender with the kind of pedigree that befits a prospect with this much hype. His numbers with the U.S. National Development team, the Kitchener Rangers, Norfolk Admirals, and the Anaheim Ducks all point to a bright future.
That's actually why hearing his name is a little surprising, especially after the way Andersen failed the Ducks in the Playoffs. However, LeBrun said the Oilers inquired, not that the Ducks were shopping.
Cam Talbot on the other hand is a name that has been circling around the rumour mill for some time with regards to who the Oilers might target. He has fared well in his work at the NHL level and been pretty good (not incredible) at the AHL level.
The fear with Talbot is that the sample size is too small and he could be effectively riding a career hot streak but will regress to something more pedestrian. The two seasons of NHL numbers we do have all point to him being pretty damn good, even accounting for the fact that he plays on a good team.
Longtime Oiler commenter Woodguy did a great little study of Goaltenders using adjusted Save Percentage (because it tries to account for teams that give up lots of high quality chances) that you can see here.
Cam Talbot fared very well using those parameters.
One other goaltender who appears to be on the block is Eddie Lack. Here's rundown of that particular rumour.
The Canucks are reportedly seeking a 2nd Round pick in return for Lack who has pretty solid numbers from the AHL and his time with the Canucks.
So there may be quite a few different options and that's not counting the Free Agent options. All of this should keep the price down, though LeBrun notes that the Sharks might compete with the Oilers for some of these goaltenders.
Before fans of the Sens, Ducks, or Rangers get too giddy, the Oilers are unlikely to give up the 16th Pick in the Draft for a goalie. The only one that they might even consider doing that for of the names listed today is for Gibson. If there's a bidding war for any of these goalies the Oilers will probably use their 2nd Round pick -33rd Overall- as bait. It is unlikely the Sharks are going to drop anything better than that on an unproven backup.
That would constitute Edmonton winning a bidding war.
We're going to start hearing more and more about who the Oilers are targeting as we get closer and closer to the Draft. Everybody knows what they need. There are no secrets when it comes to what the Oilers need to do with their roster.
I'm rooting for Talbot, personally (which probably means he will post an .899 save percentage next year) but anybody who can stop the puck on a regular basis will do.
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