When this summer’s NHL free agency window opened, Kings GM Rob Blake did not waste any time snatching up a goaltender. Coming to LA is 35-year-old netminder Cam Talbot. He’s expected to battle Pheonix Copley for the starting job throughout training camp come September.
On Sunday, he shared the following thoughts in his first official interview as a member of the Kings organization…
Talbot on his current health, coming off some injuries this past season
I feel good, definitely no lingering effects from anything that happened last year. For anyone that doesn’t know me, I feel like I train extremely hard, especially for a guy my age. So, I’m doing everything that I do every other summer. Just, the older you get the more you try and add into your repertoire, and just try and hit the ground running when training camp starts.
Cam Talbot tells me he'll be wearing 39 in LA. Has primarily worn 33 throughout his career. When he signed in LA, he told his kids 'Daddy needs a new number' and they want 39 again. He wore it briefly in Calgary. It was his only other NHL number. #GoKingsGo pic.twitter.com/dpOo9dqZJ2
— The Mayor | Team MM (@mayorNHL) July 2, 2023
On playing again for Todd McLellan
Playing for Todd in Edmonton, I had some of my best years when I was there. When we were there he rode me pretty hard; and I played the most amount of games I’ve ever played, had some of my best years. Getting to reunite with him was definitely a huge bonus for me. And coming to a team that’s been building towards something here, they want to win and I’m at the point in my career where I want to win too. This was a huge opportunity for me to step in here and hopefully challenge to play some games.
On how comfortable he’ll be playing in a tandem with Pheonix Copley
Very comfortable, that’s kind of where it’s been at for me for the past couple of years now. When Marc-Andre (Fleury) came into Minnesota a couple of years ago, we had just an absolutely great relationship for the last few months there and our tandem worked really well down the stretch. I know it’s probably going to be a tandem situation here. I haven’t gotten a chance to talk to Pheonix yet. But, hopefully, I’ll be able to get his number soon… I just haven’t really gotten a chance to go through all the messages on my phone and stuff like that yet. So, definitely looking forward to it. Talked to Todd McLellan today, he said that Pheonix is a great guy and works hard. That’s all you can ask for in a goalie partner.
On any potential benefits of playing in a structured Kings system
They don’t give up a ton of second chances. I try not to give up that many either, but I know if I do, those guys are going to be right there to help me out. We’ve got two of the best two-way centers in the game, you bring in a guy like Pierre-Luc Dubois and now you’re pretty stacked down the middle. And playing in Todd’s system, obviously, I’m pretty comfortable in that; playing in it for four years now. So, it was definitely a huge selling point coming to a team like this that’s on the cusp of winning and playing in a system that I already know; playing for a guy that I already know, that I hugely respect in Todd. It just seemed everything fell into place… When this opportunity came up to sign here now, it just seemed like a no-brainer. This team is built to win right now and they’re very goalie friendly with the system they play. I’m just going to try to step in and make it a seamless as possible and try to give them some good outings.
On if he feels there’s an opportunity for him to become the number one goalie in LA
I feel like this the opportunity that, if you come in and play well you’ll just kind of get the net. And this team, as I said, they’re ready to win now. And if you play well, I can’t see any reason why Todd wouldn’t stick with that guy. And it goes both ways. If (Copley) is playing well, then I would expect him to get the games, as well. That healthy competition is always good; it pushes everybody to be better and that’s what I thrive on. I’m assuming Pheonix does as well. I think it’s going to be a very healthy competition and I’m looking forward to it. Hopefully, I can take the majority of (starts), but you just never know. I’m going to do everything I can to get as many games as possible.
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