Done Deal: Just In Maple Leafs Confirm To Reach Agreement To Sign Top Experienced NHL Free Agent In July

**Maple Leafs Eye Top Unrestricted Free Agent Goalie**

The Toronto Maple Leafs need to secure a goaltender, whether a primary starter or a complement to Joseph Woll.

Jonas Siegel of The Athletic suggests the Leafs might pursue the top upcoming unrestricted free agent: Cam Talbot of the Los Angeles Kings.

“One option I’ve been considering more for the Leafs is Cam Talbot. While a Woll-Talbot duo might not be ideal, Talbot offers more experience than other options like Laurent Brossoit, Anthony Stolarz, Kevin Lankinen, Alex Nedeljkovic, or Scott Wedgewood,” Siegel wrote on June 20.

Talbot, who was a starter “as recently as last season,” saved 15 goals above expectation in 54 games for the Kings. The 36-year-old completed a one-year, $1 million deal and will be an unrestricted free agent on July 1.


Hockey analyst Josh Erickson of Pro Hockey Rumors also considers Talbot “the top option available based on 2023-24 play,” ranking him as the best upcoming UFA goalie.

Talbot is seen as a reliable veteran who can handle at least half of the regular season games, providing stability if Woll struggles or gets injured during the 2024-25 season.

Siegel highlighted Talbot’s history with Brad Treliving, who signed him to a one-year deal with the Calgary Flames in 2019. Despite his age, Talbot’s familiarity with Treliving’s systems and past performance make him a valuable candidate for the Leafs.

“Talbot is also familiar to Treliving, who signed him to a one-year deal with the Flames in 2019,” Siegel wrote. “He went 12-10-1 with a .919 save percentage during the regular season and posted a .924 save percentage in 10 playoff games.”

A similar one-year deal to the $1 million contract Talbot had with Los Angeles might be the best option for Toronto, providing a seasoned goalie without a lengthy and expensive commitment.

“Another one-year deal around the $1 million Talbot took from Los Angeles last summer might be preferable to the Leafs signing someone younger with more upside but less experience and more risk on a longer, pricier contract,” Siegel wrote.

**Cam Talbot’s Season with Los Angeles**

Cam Talbot signed a one-year contract with the Los Angeles Kings in July 2023, playing 54 games with a .913 save percentage and participating in the NHL All-Star Game.

Talbot posted a 25-18-6 record, including three shutouts in 48 starts, but was replaced by David Rittich after three postseason games against the Edmonton Oilers.

**Talbot’s Comments on His Future**

During his exit interview on May 3, Talbot expressed a desire to stay with the Kings but emphasized his priority of winning, leaving open the possibility of signing elsewhere.

“I’d love to come back,” Talbot said. “Being completely healthy and playing the amount of games I did proved I still have a lot left. I had a great time with this group and would love to be back.”

However, Talbot stressed the importance of winning at this stage in his career, preferring a multi-year contract over another one-year deal.

“Winning is crucial for me now. I haven’t won yet and want to before retiring,” Talbot said. “Personally, I would prefer a multi-year deal.”

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