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Talbot wants chance to be No. 1 goalie, willing to leave Flames: report

Pending free agent has been backup to Rittich this season

by @NHLdotcom

Cam Talbot said he believes he has proven he can be a No. 1 goalie for an NHL team again and will look for that opportunity when he becomes a free agent.

Talbot has been the backup to David Rittich with the Calgary Flames this season.

"I wouldn't rule out coming back, but, obviously, my goal coming here was to show the rest of the League that I still have it in me to be a starting goalie and I think I accomplished that," Talbot told Sportsnet in an interview published Friday.

Talbot signed a one-year contract with Calgary this offseason after winning 11 of 35 games last season for the Edmonton Oilers and Philadelphia Flyers. He won 73 games for Edmonton the prior two seasons, tied for fourth in the NHL.

"That's why I wanted the one-year deal, I wanted a redemption year," the 32-year-old said. "I knew that if I came to camp healthy and in the right situation, I was confident I was going to be able to get back to that form. I think I played through some stuff that maybe I shouldn't have played through the year before, and toward the end of the year before that, so that had a lot of mitigating factors behind my declining play those years. But I think my record shows that when I'm healthy and on top of my game I can be one of the best in the League."

Talbot is 12-10-1 for Calgary this season but was 9-3-1 with a 2.55 goals-against average and .923 save percentage from Jan. 1 until the NHL season was paused March 12 due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus. In that same time, Rittich was 7-7-1 with a 3.36 GAA and .895 save percentage.

Talbot started 10 of 42 games prior to Jan. 1, 12 of 28 after, raising the possibility the unrestricted free agent could stay with Calgary.

"I think as long as I would get a fair chance off the bat (to be the starter); I don't know if this year I really got that," Talbot said. "I know that they kind of wanted to see what was going on with [Rittich], but I kind of knew that coming in. I think that once I got my opportunity to come in and show what I can do that I still would be able to carry the mail. Obviously, I'd like to play more than 50-50, but 50-50 would be, you know, another step up from what I got this year, so I'll take it."

Talbot, an undrafted free agent who made his NHL debut Oct. 24, 2013, is 150-122-25 with a 2.61 GAA and .915 save percentage in 314 games for the New York Rangers, Oilers, Flyers and Flames.

Tweet from @Sportsnet: "I think my record shows that when I���m healthy and on top of my game I can be one of the best in the league.���While @NHLFlames fans and management would love to see Cam Talbot return, he's earned the chance to explore his options.(Via @EricFrancis)

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