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Talbot still stunned by fall from grace, has 'a lot to prove' with Flames

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Cam Talbot admits he’s still a bit stunned at how quickly it all unravelled.

Two years after being feted for backstopping the Edmonton Oilers to the playoffs with record-setting goaltending, the 31-year-old netminder woke up in his Edmonton home Monday morning wondering if the phone would ring with an offer for NHL employment.

The call he hoped for came from Calgary Flames general manager Brad Treliving, whose one-year, $2.75-million offer addresses the team’s top positional priority on a squad hoping to support David Rittich’s continued development.

Much like previous goaltending acquisitions such as Brian Elliott and Mike Smith, the summer signing certainly comes with plenty of risk, especially given the downward trend in Talbot’s game.

After breaking Grant Fuhr’s franchise record with 42 wins in a 73-start season in 2016-17, Talbot saw his goals-against average balloon to 3.02 the next year, followed by a horrific start last season that prompted a trade to another goaltending hell, Philadelphia. (He finished 11-17-3 with a 3.40 GAA and .892 save percentage).

"If I’m honest, yeah," said Talbot when asked if he was shocked by his rapid fall from prominence.

"Even the season before last, I don’t think I was as bad as most people thought. One of our top defencemen went down [Andrej Sekera], which is never easy, but I still had 31 wins. Last season was mentally and physically exhausting. It kind of turned quickly and for some reason, I couldn’t stop it.

"To be honest I have a lot to prove. Last year was my worst as a pro and it’s something I don’t take lightly. It will be a redemption year for myself."

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