Former Edmonton Oilers goalie Grant Fuhr knows the feeling of being a struggling netminder in the NHL. So, as the controversy over who the starter is in Edmonton and rumors swirl about a trade, it made sense he would go to bat for current Oilers goaltender Cam Talbot.
During a lengthy chat with the NHL Hall of Famer, Fuhr suggested that it would be unwise for the Oilers to consider making a move when it comes to their netminder. He admitted that he liked what he'd seen out of Mikko Koskinen in his limited starts and that he appears to have what it takes to be a starter in the NHL, but that's not a good enough reason to move Talbot, especially now.
Fuhr knows first-hand how helpful it can be to have a second goalie on the team who is there to push and motivate the other. He cited his time in Edmonton when he had Andy Moog really pushing him to be the best he could be and suggested that goaltending in the NHL is a battle to manage ebbs and flows. "As much as we'd like, no goaltender can be great all the time," Fuhr said. "You need that guy to push you during a long 82-game season and playoff run."
When asked if he thought the Oilers should even consider moving Talbot, despite knowing the team was struggling a bit on defense and needed some additional secondary scoring help, Fuhr said, "I just don't think it makes sense."
I then asked what the Oilers should do when it comes to both players being free agents at the end of the year. Do you trade one knowing both could walk away? His response was, "I'd play the hot hand and hope both play great. It's a good problem to have."
What This Means
Despite rumors of Talbot potentially being on the trade block, a goalie who can understand what might be going through each player's mind suggested this is not the time to move a guy. And, it's hard to argue with that logic. After all, Talbot played well on Wednesday and is getting the start again on Friday versus the Minnesota Wild. One never knows if Koskinen can keep up his strong play and if he can't, having a solid netminder like Talbot ready to come in only helps the Oilers.