Today marked the beginning of the NHL's free agency interview period when teams are allowed to speak to pending UFAs in order to gauge their interest in signing with them. One of the players the Sharks reportedly spoke to on Thursday, however, doesn't become a free agent until next July. Rangers backup Cam Talbot is currently the hottest name on the oversaturated goalie trade market, but with just one year remaining on his current contract teams are understandably wary of paying a significant price to acquire him only to lose him after a season.
New York is trying to assuage those concerns by giving Talbot's primary suitors in the Sharks, Buffalo Sabres, Edmonton Oilers, Dallas Stars and Calgary Flames permission to speak to the 27-year-old netminder albeit only about Talbot's potential role with the team and his interest in the city rather than specific salary expectations. Talbot has played in just 57 career NHL games but posted a brilliant .931 SV% over that span as Henrik Lundqvist's No. 2 over the past two seasons. He's an intriguing, if largely unproven, option especially given that his current contract pays him an extremely manageable $1.45 million in its final year. On the other hand, if the Rangers really are dead-set on getting a first rounder for him, the Sharks would be wise to look elsewhere for their next starter.