NHLNotebook: #TalbotForVezina, Duchene open to trade and Bickell nearing return

nhlnbook

The NHLN Notebook is a semi-regular feature of interesting hockey content from the past few days that doesn’t quite deserve its own article.  

In today’s NHLNotebook, we look at whether or not Cam Talbot is making a case to be in the Vezina trophy conversation, Matt Duchene being open to a trade, and Bryan Bickell looking to make his NHL return.

Talbot for Vezina?

Last night, Baggedmilk proposed the idea of Cam Talbot winning the Vezina trophy. It got me thinking whether or not he could be making a legitimate case this season for consideration. After all, he has certainly made a case as the most important player on the Oilers roster not named Connor McDavid. 

At the end of the season, all thirty NHL GM’s will submit who they feel is the best candidate for the goalie of the year. Could Talbot be on that list?

As I write this article, he currently leads the NHL in games played and started by a goalie with 44. In saying that, he has also played the most time on ice among any goalies, playing 229 more minutes than the next closest competitor Martin Jones. 

Currently, he is tied for third in the NHL in wins with 25 with Jones. He is one back of second place which is held by Devan Dubnyk, and three wins back from the NHL leader Sergei Bobrovsky, who has 28 wins.

Talbot’s .921 sv% puts him in a tie with four other goalies for fourth in the league, while his 2.36 GAA has him ranked ninth among goalies. His four shutouts ties him for third among goalies.

This season, he has been a workhorse for the Oilers and has carried a lot of the weight. He has been a huge reason why the Oilers have been as successful as they have been, and last night was a great example as he shutout the Anaheim Ducks.

While I think he is on the outside looking in on the Vezina race right now, a strong second half of the season could turn some heads around the NHL.

Stats via NHL.com featuring goalies who have played >30 games.

Duchene open to trade

With the Colorado Avalanche having one of the worst seasons in recent memory, Matt Duchene is reportedly open to a potential trade:

“I’m open to it,” Duchene said Wednesday. “When I say open to it, I know it’s part of the business, and it’s something that might happen. I’m not hiding from it. I’m not running away. I’m not banging my head. I understand it’s part of what we deal with as pro athletes.” 

“Thankfully, I’ve been able to have (success) at the international level with Team Canada. And it’s something that has given me some really good experience. I know when this team, or whatever (NHL) team I’m on, is ready to win, I know I’ll be able to bring some experience to it. That’s something that fuels me, and it keeps me positive.”

With the NHL trade deadline approaching faster everyday, Duchene came in at number one on TSN’s trade bait list. 

Bryan Bickell nearing return 

After being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in November, Bryan Bickell has been spending the recent months getting treatment for the disease. Speaking openly with Chip Alexander of the News & Observer, Bickell says he has been feeling like a hockey player once again:

“With the treatments I’m getting, every month it’s getting better and I think my body is adjusting,” Bickell said in an interview. “The first couple of months is the real test of whether it holds and treats it right.

“For me, it’s now getting on the ice and working hard to get my game somewhere close to getting back in the lineup. The progress is going the right way and that’s what we’ve been looking forward to the past couple of months.”

Bickell also said that he has set a personal goal of returning to the NHL ice this season for the Hurricanes. Bickell isn’t the first active NHL’er to be diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. For Harding, the announcement of his MS came on November 28th, 2012 after doctors discovered the disease that September. 

Harding returned to the NHL ice on January 20th, 2013 stopping all 24 shots he faced in a 1-0 victory over the Dallas Stars. His career ended following a two-game stint with the Minnesota Wild’s AHL team in 2014-2015. 

Hopefully we are able to see Bickell back on the ice and in better shape sooner rather than later. 

The latest from Laing:

  • Hemmercules

    Sucks for Bickell but his career is likely over soon due to his illness and the quality of player he is. I can’t see a team taking a chance on him again knowing he could be out for a lengthy period of time at any given moment. Harding didn’t last too much longer as it caught up with him again.

      • @Hallsy4

        Would that be enough to get it done? I’d do that in a second, as long as that prospect isn’t Nurse. Surprised how many trashes you got, it would be foolish not to make that deal. Avs wouldn’t do it I don’t think

      • FISTO Siltanen

        Risk the team chemistry that is clicking to get a left shot forward and trade one of the few right shot forwards you have? For a kid who predominantly plays the left wing a positiob where this team finally has some strength and depth?

        Just not sure how Duchene fits for the Oilers right now.

  • Muddy

    Wait an Oilers goalie in the same conversation with the word “Vezina”? Cam is a monster, no way we win that game without him last night. We’ve waited so long for a good net minder and finally have one of the leagues best.

  • Oilfan69

    Do they give you the vezina for allowing the most goals against in the league? 🙂

    http://www.foxsports.com/nhl/stats?season=2016&category=GOALTENDING&group=1&sort=10&time=0&pos=5&team=0&qual=1&sortOrder=1&page=1

    He could put himself into the conversation if Dubnyk falls off or he plays lights out.

    All in all I’m just happy that we have dadbot as we don’t need a vezina winning goaling here we just need a solid #1 to bail out the team from time to time.

    • pkam

      Talbot allows the most goals against because he plays a few more games than other goalies. His GAA is not the best but not the worst neither. And even GAA is not the most indicative goalie stat but more the team overall defense stat.

  • Bills Bills

    Talbot deserves props and to be in the conversation as a top 5 NHL starter. Maybe he can make a stronger case in the seconf half. But it would take one of Bob, Duby or Price to have a collapse for him to get any real consideration.

    MS is an ugly disease and I wish all the best for Bickle and his family. There are treatments in other areas of the world that can treat the symptoms. Hopefully one day the US and Canada will catch up and allow those treatments here.

    • KiLLKiND

      What parts of the world have different methods of treating the symptoms? For such a terrible disease Canada and the U.S. should be among the leaders searching for a cure. What are these treatments though and what countries can they be found?

      • Bills Bills

        Places in south america and europe have been using stints to open up blood vessels in the base of patients necks to increase blood flow. I watch my exs mother die slowly over 6 years. I dont know everything but I have done my research.

        As for North America leading the way…. they lead the way in terms of medical profits. True there have been some amazing breakthroughs in medicine and treatments right here in Edmonton but there are smart researchers all over the world. Canada and the US happen to be slow at giving federal approval to many treatments and drug’s.

  • KevCantDance

    Talbot, barring a collapse of the big 3 goalies right now, won’t win the vezina. However, ask yourself this…who would you rather be our goalie – Talbot or Lundquist? Right now I’d take Talbot, and that’s a win as much as the vezina to me.

  • Big Jacks Meat

    Can we get a early GDB Please instead of waiting for Gregor. gonna be tough enough staying up late again..thank god tomorrows Friday..

    in first place I hope.

  • Big Jacks Meat

    Odds of Oilers missing playoffs are down to like 1.6% roughly , didn’t we Win Connor with about that same percentage ? GULP 🙁

    NAH couldn’t happen.. ?

  • bazmagoo

    I said last night I wouldn’t want to make a deadline move in case of messing up the chemistry, but I think we probably could make a small move for a back up goalie. Maybe Gustavsson and a 3rd or 4th round pick for Pavelec? I think we need a somewhat proven commodity in case of the worst case scenario. G’Oilers!

  • Word to the Bird

    Duchene would look mighty good in Oilers silks, but theres no trade to be made between our two clubs, not unless you fleeced Sakic by trading Nuge for Duchene straight up. Best part is that we have not one, but TWO centres who are better than Duchene right now in 97 and 29.

    • Not a First Tier Fan

      Your personal bias is showing. Myself – I’d take Nuge over Duchene any day of the week. I’m pretty sure the first part of this season was just an off-stretch for him.

      • Word to the Bird

        Come on dude, I like Nuge as much as the next Oiler fan, but Duchene is clearly the better player, and he certainly has more value than Nuge does.

        • Bills Bills

          It is a wash at best. Duchene is better in some areas but weaker in others. He is not enough of an upgrade to justify trading a known commodity. The Oilers need a core of quality players amd people. RNH fits that mold. My bet is he is the type of player that wins a Conn Smythe one day.

  • ziyan94

    Talbot is top 5 for me:
    Dubnyk, Martin Jones, Bobrovsky, Talbot, Price (in no particular order)
    I actually think our old boy Dubnyk is the frontrunner this year, as Price hasn’t had the best year

    • Dwayne Roloson 35

      Price is having a good season but he isn’t even in the top 10 for GAA or SV%.

      You can make a case for Talbot because of how many games he’s started but Dubnyk, Bobrovsky and Holtby are top 4 for GAA and SV%.They’re the 3 best this year.

  • Bills Bills

    Duchene is marginally better than RNH in ppg. There is really no size difference, the contracts are the same and I would say RNH has a better two way game today. So no thanks on another smaller skilled left shot center. Besides RNH is younger and arguably one of the most liked by fans and never heard a bad thing about his impact on the locker room.

    So is it worth it even as a straight up trade of Duchene for RNH? Not to me. Keep what you have. The grass isn’t always greener. Is it worth it to trade Eberle in a package for Duchene? How? To strip away depth on the right side for another of what we already have? No Eberle is a better goal scorer.