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Welcome to the Flyers: Max Talbot

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Author’s Note: ‘The Orange & Black Breakdown’ is officially open for business. I’ll be getting this party started over the coming weeks with a short series entitled ‘Welcome to the Flyers”, which will profile all of the fresh faces likely to don the Flyers crest this year. Look for more and more as the season approaches at The OBB on Kukla’s Korner, and thanks again for reading!


Welcome to the Flyers, Maxime Talbot.

A once bitterly hated division rival whose job was to silence the crowd in Philadelphia is now responsible for invigorating it. So what’s a Flyers fan to do? I suggest you embrace it, because there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the presence of #27 in Philadelphia for the foreseeable future.

His most obvious and immediate impact will be felt on the penalty kill. There, he can combine forces with fellow French Canadian Claude Giroux and be the meat opposite of #28’s silky smooth potatoes. Since entering the league, Talbot has potted at least two shorthanded goals in every season but one, which was an injury riddled 09-10 season. Serving as one of the most consistent penalty killers on the top unit of the last several years in Pittsburgh, Talbot should do wonders in helping offset the loss of Mike Richards and his talents on the penalty kill. His presence will be a welcome site to a team that ranked a lowly 19th last year on the penalty kill and in dire need of a defensive-minded facelift.

Even though his special teams prowess might be his greatest asset, it would seem that Talbot’s folklore in the steel city can be traced to his success in the playoffs. Not necessarily known for his ability to light the lamp, he has a knack for elevating his game to a new level when it matters most. A career 0.28 point-per-game player in the regular season, Talbot has amassed 33 points in 66 playoff games for the Pittsburgh Penguins (0.5 PPG for those mathematically impaired), almost doubling his rate of production. That’s a huge bonus to have on your bench if you’re Peter Laviolette come May. These points have come at crucial times too, such as his 3-point performance in a clinching 4-1 win in the Eastern Conference Finals over Carolina and infamous, Stanley Cup winning 2-goal Game 7 just days later versus Detroit. Clearly, this reputation is well deserved.

To many, this may seem like more than enough reason to justify such a contract as his: a no mess, $1.75 million taking Talbot through the prime of his career with the Flyers. But there is even more to be said for the guy with the same cap-hit as the backup goalie next season when you start to look closer.

The no-touch icing on the cake? It weakens your biggest rival. While the Penguins organization will be able to replace his roster spot with another player and ultimately withstand the loss, there is no doubt they will miss his versatility and experience in their lineup. He was crucial to a Pittsburgh team for a multiple reasons, both on and off the ice. He had a major presence in the locker room and was counted on for more than just his hockey skills. In a rivalry such as the one that has evolved between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, knowing you’re playing your former team can serve as that extra bit of motivation you might need on waning days of the regular season or in the heat of the playoffs. Ultimately, he represents the blue-collar work ethic and ‘character’ that made Pittsburgh proud to have him and Philadelphia ripe to enshrine him.

So feel free to go pick up your official Max Talbot fake, unofficial, possibly taped together with scotch tape winter classic jersey from your local Mom & Pop website and rub it in this guys face – the Flyers got anything but quieter this offseason by signing Max Talbot.

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Talbot should give Philadelphia plenty of reasons to ignore his previous request

(Find me on twitter: @marcs797)

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, Marc Siciliano, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: max+talbot

Comments

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Max will be a huge locker room presence for the Flyers and will be a great role model for the young guys.  However, since his shoulder injury he hasn’t been nearly the same player as he was prior to the injury.  The Flyers grossly overpaid for him on money and term but for Max’s sake I’m happy for him.

Posted by Geno71 on 07/25/11 at 09:11 AM ET

Evilpens's avatar

well except the fact that the Flyers gave 1.8 Million a year for 5 years to a 4th Liner who had 20 goals total the last 3 seasons

Posted by Evilpens on 07/25/11 at 10:37 AM ET

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First, welcome Marc.  Though I hope you have nothing but losses and turmoil to blog about for the foreseeable future, it is really awesome that KK is getting more voices from more teams.

As for Talbot, it will be weird to see him in the black and orange, but there was no way he could or would have passed on this deal.  5 years for a 4th line center though is a long time, and like Geno71 has said, he hasn’t been nearly the same player since the injury.  He was 2nd last year in SH min/game among Pens forwards, though, and can definitely still contribute there.  All in all, I would have loved to see him stay, but it would have had to been on Shero’s terms.

Posted by pens fan in baltimore on 07/25/11 at 10:43 AM ET

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Welcome aboard, Marc. I love your passion for the Flyers and look forward to your coverage of the team. Nice looking logo.

Posted by Greg Thomson from Toronto, Ontario on 07/25/11 at 11:02 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

You forgot the other intangible that Talbot brings to the Flyers: another of the kind of people who will knowingly and cheaply target the injury of an opposing player.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 07/25/11 at 11:09 AM ET

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i think talbot will surprise some pens fans this season.  I think he still has a lot to give, and the injury should be completely healed.  I could see talbot scoring 20 goals in this coming season alone.  i really hate seeing good team players like talbot, scuds, malone, and colby leave… but i guess it is all part of the process.  to me, i would rather have any two of the mentioned names above than martin at 5 million.

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 07/25/11 at 11:09 AM ET

cs6687's avatar

20 goals this season for Talbot? No bleeping way that happens. Maybe a dozen if he’s lucky.

Marc, you contradicted yourself a bit. You said it weakens the Penguins to lose him, but they’ll be able to replace him. Max Talbot is a good guy, an okay player, but very replaceable. Dustin Jeffrey will replace Max just fine for 1/3 of the salary.

Talbot will help the penalty kill and is a good locker room guy. But he is inconsistent if not invisible for long stretches. The Flyers overpaid for a fourth line center.

Posted by cs6687 on 07/25/11 at 11:24 AM ET

Evilpens's avatar

yeah 20 goals for a guy who has 2o combined in the last 3 seasons

Posted by Evilpens on 07/25/11 at 11:47 AM ET

Marc Siciliano's avatar

Hey Pens fans! haha

I notice a lot of you seem to think he was grossly overpaid. What if it was 1.5M.. would you consider that still overpaying?

I guess what I’m getting at here is for under 2M (and like I said in the article, currently the same cost of the backup goalie), a versatile bottom 6 guy who has potential to slot into any role on your 3rd line when needed and play a key role on the PK seems fine to me. Add that he elevates his game in the playoffs and already has a ring? Sign me up

He’s obviously not getting paid to score (20 goals G2L? I’d dance in the streets..), but 1.75M isn’t a goal scorer’s salary. He’s here to bring grit and grit to a Flyers team that seemed a bit lost in that department at times.

Marc, you contradicted yourself a bit. You said it weakens the Penguins to lose him, but they’ll be able to replace him. Max Talbot is a good guy, an okay player, but very replaceable. Dustin Jeffrey will replace Max just fine for 1/3 of the salary.

 

What I meant by that was exactly how you explained it. Max is replaceable in terms of production, but Max is a unique player with a good combination of LR presence, versatility and experience. Jeffrey will slot into his role fine, but I doubt he will be able to fill Max’s shoes so to speak.

Posted by Marc Siciliano on 07/25/11 at 12:02 PM ET

cs6687's avatar

The Penguins already have a strong locker room. It’s not going to crumble because Max freakin Talbot isn’t there. People thought when Colby Armstrong was traded in the Hossa deal that the Crosby was to pout because they were buddies.

Posted by cs6687 on 07/25/11 at 12:09 PM ET

Marc Siciliano's avatar

I’m not implying it will be the 2nd coming of Armageddon, just noting that it certainly doesn’t make them any stronger is all.

Personally, I think the importance of the right personalities in the locker room is one of the most overlooked things in sports. Otherwise, how else would I rationalize Jody Shelley being on this team?

Posted by Marc Siciliano on 07/25/11 at 12:14 PM ET

Evilpens's avatar

Talbot is living off his 2 goals in game 7 & is a Shitty even strength player, they overpaid for Bryzgalov, Jagr & Talbot Good Job

Posted by Evilpens on 07/25/11 at 12:16 PM ET

cs6687's avatar

As for the overpayment angle, I say he’s overpaid because he’s a fourth-line player at best. Fourth line guys shouldn’t get $1.75 million/season and definitely shouldn’t get five-year deals. Look at the way Talbot’s deal is structured. He makes $2 million or more in each of the first three seasons, then it drops to $1.25m in season four. That screams buyout.

Posted by cs6687 on 07/25/11 at 12:18 PM ET

Evilpens's avatar

BS about the Locker Room, Sid rules the room cs6687 said, people thought the room & especially Sid would because the goofball Armstrong was traded Got to 2 SC finals without him & won 1

DJeff is light years better than Talbot @ a 3rd of the price

Posted by Evilpens on 07/25/11 at 12:18 PM ET

Russian Rocket's avatar

Posted by Marc Siciliano on 07/25/11 at 11:14 AM ET

The opinion Talbot is overpaid (which I also believe) comes from watching him just implode since the Cup in ‘09. He was highly productive in those playfofs, 8 goals I believe.  Then the shoulder surgery.  Suddenly he seemed, slower, clumsy, oft injured, and not as effective.  Maybe the move to Philly will re-energize him but I honestly believe (as far as on ice skills)he has been around an 825k/yr player at best since ‘09.

Now the price is definitely going to be higher than that for his cup ring and locker room intangibles.  All that being said, if Philly wins game and Max contributes positively, it’s a good signing for them.

Posted by Russian Rocket on 07/25/11 at 12:37 PM ET

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Talbot’s biggest contribution will be in the locker room. With all the departures of Flyer leadership figures, Chris Pronger sitting out with surgery half the time and the acquisition of, perhaps, the worst locker room player ever in Jagr, Talbot will be sorely needed to keep the other guys smiling and working. Penguins will miss this, but the locker room’s still pretty strong without him.

On the ice, though, Talbot will struggle badly to justify his salary. He’s a good penalty killer, but was probably the 5th best Pittsburgh forward in that role last year. And, as others have noted, even strength, Talbot has been a ghost since the 09 playoffs. It’s not lack of effort—the reality is that Talbot’s a 5’8 guy (don’t care what he’s listed as, that’s his height) who plays a much larger game than he is. Guys like that take a beating over their careers and eventually start breaking down. That’s about where Talbot and his bum shoulder are at, imo. Shipping Powe west to open a roster spot for Talbot was a downgrade, in my view. Powe is noticeably more effective at the same on-ice things Talbot does at this point in their respective careers.

Posted by steviesteve on 07/25/11 at 12:53 PM ET

Marc Siciliano's avatar

I’m curious to know how much of his ineffectiveness this past season can be attributed to possibly playing beyond his potential given the absurd amount of injuries the Pens faced.

He played at a rate of TOI that was 2nd in his career throughout the regular season, and averaged almost 17 minutes of ice time in this past PO’s (5th of the fwds) while scoring 4 pts in 7 games - clearly not 4th line numbers.

In a best case scenario in Philly, his ice time will be significantly less than that - thus allowing him to be more consistent in a limited role. If he wants to chip in some points that’s ok too

I’ll concede that the salary might be a bit much for a premiere 4th line player (as his stats indicate), but I’d rather overpay Talbot by a $300-500K than Leino by 1.5M+ given his versatility in the lineup and PK role

Posted by Marc Siciliano on 07/25/11 at 01:02 PM ET

Marc Siciliano's avatar

So.. see you all when the Jagr post comes out? haha

And don’t fret wings fans, Lilja is down the road as well..

Posted by Marc Siciliano on 07/25/11 at 01:05 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

Welcome, Marc.

I’m a diehard Wings fan, but the Flyers have always been my second favorite team.

Looking forward to reading your blog this season.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 07/25/11 at 01:10 PM ET

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Oh God.
http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/blog/puck_daddy/post/Unnamed-Flyers-blame-Dry-Island-partying-for-?urn=nhl-wp9667

Shortly after his arrival in December 2009, coach Peter Laviolette instituted what players came to call the “Dry Island.” Laviolette asked team members to commit to not drinking for a month, and each player was asked to write his number on a locker room board as a pledge. No. 17 (Carter) and No. 18 (Richards) were absent from the board on the first Dry Island, as well as the estimated five more times the policy was instituted.

If Laviolette wants a dry team, this could be a big problem for Talbot. This dude really needs his rum and cokes.


I’m curious to know how much of his ineffectiveness this past season can be attributed to possibly playing beyond his potential given the absurd amount of injuries the Pens faced.

Yeah, I don’t think this was a factor for him. The explanation for Talbot’s problems (to me) start and end with the addition of bad shoulder to the package of short and not particularly fast. Board battles he used to win (through sheer work) turned into losses after he went under the knife.

Posted by steviesteve on 07/25/11 at 01:11 PM ET

Marc Siciliano's avatar

I saw that stevie.. the guy who wrote that article Leahy’s is based off is a Philly Gossip columnist.. Not doubting the legitimacy of it, just doubting the context.

I don’t think he’s looking for a Dry team by any means, sounds like he was just doing something as a new coach to try and get the team rallied in sole-support of something..

Posted by Marc Siciliano on 07/25/11 at 01:34 PM ET

Avatar

there’s a spelling mistake in the author’s note (dawn = don)
sorry to be a dick, but its just one of those things.

Posted by tuxedoTshirt on 07/25/11 at 01:44 PM ET

Paul's avatar

Fixed TTS.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 07/25/11 at 01:47 PM ET

Avatar

“Dry Island.”

Trying to remove a couple of beers from a hockey player’s post game indulgence is equivalent to asking a millioniare to pay a little more in taxes - good luck.

Despite Talbot netting 20 goals in three season, I’d welcome him in a Wings uniform (not on a five year deal though). He can muck-n-grind, great team guy, probably one of the better chirpping guys in the game.

Posted by Jesters Dead on 07/25/11 at 02:03 PM ET

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Trying to remove a couple of beers from a hockey player’s post game indulgence is equivalent to asking a millioniare to pay a little more in taxes - good luck.

or a liberal to balance a budget.  wink

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 07/25/11 at 02:17 PM ET

Marc Siciliano's avatar

or a liberal to balance a budget.

*gets popcorn ready*

Posted by Marc Siciliano on 07/25/11 at 02:31 PM ET

Ajax19's avatar

or a liberal to balance a budget. 

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 07/25/11 at 01:17 PM ET

Oh, you mean a liberal like Bill Clinton?

Posted by Ajax19 on 07/25/11 at 02:38 PM ET

Lindas1st's avatar

You forgot the other intangible that Talbot brings to the Flyers: another of the kind of people who will knowingly and cheaply target the injury of an opposing player.

Right out of Bobby Clarke’s own playbook.

Posted by Lindas1st from New England on 07/25/11 at 04:54 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

hope we lay off the politics, it’s ghey

Personally I’m a huge fan of this signing, as well as the Jagr signing and letting go of Richards and Carter.  Also not signing Leino who has quite a few playoff points with the Flyers.  “I’m Lovin’ it” Micky D’s style.

I think Philly finally made the moves that will put them over the edge and bring the Cup to philly.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 07/25/11 at 05:17 PM ET

Evilpens's avatar

HUH???????????????????????????????????

Posted by Evilpens on 07/25/11 at 05:40 PM ET

Marc Siciliano's avatar

Personally I’m a huge fan of this signing, as well as the Jagr signing and letting go of Richards and Carter.  Also not signing Leino who has quite a few playoff points with the Flyers.  “I’m Lovin’ it” Micky D’s style.

I think Philly finally made the moves that will put them over the edge and bring the Cup to philly.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 07/25/11 at 04:17 PM ET

My sarcasm senses are tingling..

Posted by Marc Siciliano on 07/25/11 at 05:56 PM ET

statelouis26's avatar

Talbot’s a douche.  He’s just another Cooke who doesn’t drop the gloves when he’s held accountable for his garbage.

Posted by statelouis26 from Detroit, MI on 07/25/11 at 06:38 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Posted by Marc Siciliano on 07/25/11 at 04:56 PM ET

wink

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 07/25/11 at 06:53 PM ET

Evilpens's avatar

OH !! HTO you were scaring me for awhile there

Posted by Evilpens on 07/25/11 at 08:05 PM ET

Primis's avatar

Annnnddd, there’s now animosity on KK which has nothing to do with Red Wings fans.

*clap clap cap*

Well done.  wink

Posted by Primis on 07/25/11 at 11:54 PM ET

Marc Siciliano's avatar

Posted by Primis on 07/25/11 at 10:54 PM ET

Glad I could help along the process. Assuming some Flyers fans show up, I might be able to make it through the week. If not, I’ll have a Jagr or Lilja post waiting in the wings :-p

Posted by Marc Siciliano on 07/26/11 at 01:41 AM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

Meh…you can keep Jagr…we already had one mullet in Detroit over the last five years…wasn’t impressed.

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 07/26/11 at 02:11 AM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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