Dave Molinari had a good piece about this on Sunday. [ PG ]
He makes this point about Talbot's lack of visibility:
None of that would be a significant issue except that Talbot is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent this summer, and the Penguins have several forward prospects -- guys like Dustin Jeffrey, Eric Tangradi, Nick Johnson and Tim Wallace -- on their minor league team in Wilkes-Barre who might be ready to move into NHL jobs next season.
A quick look at Cap Geek is kind of jarring, as well. The Penguins only have five forwards on the current NHL roster with contracts. Talbot, making a shade over $1 million and not exactly living up to that contract, certainly wouldn't take a paycut, would he? The salary cap is probably going up at least $2 million next season.
2006-07: Gary Roberts
2007-08: Marian Hossa
2008-09: Bill Guerin
All four were future free agents. Guerin and Roberts were the only ones that re-upped. Shero won't take on any contracts at the trade deadline. He isn't going to handicap himself for what will be his most important offseason to date.
But what if Shero does pull the trigger on something at the trade deadline? And what if that pick-up becomes someone like Guerin or Roberts, who the Pens wouldn't mind re-signing?
That almost punches Talbot, Dupuis, etc. out the door.
If Talbot and a few other guys have a big next few months, nothing is written in stone. But there is no question, unless things change, Max Talbot's days may be numbered.