Well, if there was any questioning on whether there is a possible goaltending controversy between former Vezina Trophy winner Henrik Lundqvist and rookie Cam Talbot, those questions have now been answered. There never was one.
Yesterday the New York Rangers announced that they and Lundqvist have finally come to an agreement on a new contract, extending Lundqvist for another seven years with the Blueshirts at $8.5 million per season.
So with the rookie goaltender Talbot opening a lot of eyes so far this season, and even outplaying Lundqvist thus far, what does Lundqvist’s new long-term contract mean for Talbot?
In my opinion, I think it is very possible that Talbot will not finish out this season as a Ranger.
The Rangers’ 2013-14 NHL regular season, now into December, sees the team floating around the .500 mark with an evident lack of consistency. Surprise, surprise.
If the Rangers continue this pattern and are around .500 and fighting for a playoff spot come the trade deadline, which most likely will be the case, then I could definitely see a bubble team in the Western Conference who is struggling to find steady goaltending making an offer to the Rangers for Talbot. And since the Rangers have offensive needs to be attended to, at both the forward and defensemen positions, the Rangers parting ways with Talbot could very well be a strong possibility.
Now of course things could change along the way until the trade deadline, which is still months away on March 5, 2014. The Rangers could go on a run and be comfortably in the playoffs, even though I would strongly consider not to hold your breath on that one. Talbot could also cool off considerably thus decreasing his overall trade value making him worth more for the Rangers to hang on to instead.
Whether Talbot is dealt before this season’s end as I believe or he stays is still not known for certain. What is known for certain, without any question, is that Lundqvist is the Rangers’ No. 1 goaltender and always has been.
Well not always, but you get my point.