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

Updated: January 10, 2018 at 4:50 pm by Zach Laing

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. 

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