1. Cam Talbot
Cam Talbot is the biggest risk for the Columbus Blue Jackets on this list, but he has potential the highest reward over the next couple of years. He recently lost the starting job in Edmonton, his stats aren’t that good to start the year admittedly, and he has a pretty big cap hit at $4.167M. However he’s on the last year of that deal, and he’s mainly struggled as a result of an abysmal defense in front of him and an inability to break out as a starting goaltender.
With the New York Rangers as a backup, Talbot was arguably one of the best goaltenders in the league. The Oilers on the other hand, have overplayed him and it’s hurt him tremendously. If Talbot was back to a backup role, then he’d be able to rest between starts and gather himself rather than being forced into a game when he’s not ready.
He’s had a workload for the Edmonton Oilers that has been heavier than Sergei Bobrovsky’s for Columbus, which is almost unthinkable. With the way he’s been playing as of late, his value is likely at an all time low. As a result, the Blue Jackets would likely be able to acquire Talbot fairly cheaply and potentially get a superstar backup for a year.
The only question for Talbot is whether or not he’d be willing to step back into a backup role willingly following two seasons of 67 games or higher. It would likely be a good career move to keep all options open in a career year for Talbot though and he could be a difference maker in Columbus.