After a whirlwind of a start to the 2013-14 New York Rangers season, falling 1-4-0 in five games played was not in the cards for General Manager Glen Sather. Many analysts expected roster changes to come, but very few would have predicted that the Rangers would have decided to drop backup goaltender Martin Biron and fourth-line winger Arron Asham this fast.
Biron, who was late to report to training camp this summer due to personal reasons, did not perform up to the expectations of new Rangers' head coach Alain Vigneault.
"It's a performance-based business and the organization felt that Marty's first two performances are not what we expected", according to the official Twitter feed of the Rangers.
Talbot is expected to make approximately 20 starts this season to lighten the load on Lundqvist. This season appears to be even more challenging as it is a Winter Olympics year and Lundqvist will no doubt represent Sweden.
"I think that I've been preparing myself pretty well for the last few years and I've been preparing myself for the opportunity so I’m just going to make the best of it and give the team a chance to win whenever I get in there."
Talbot acknowledged that challenging Lundqvist or Biron for a permanent roster spot would never come easy:
I was just hoping to show myself to the best of my abilities and if I was able to make the team out of camp great. If not I knew I could go down to Hartford and keep progressing there, getting some more experience as a starter and then hopefully get a call-up, show myself to the best of my ability and I think I did that.
Talbot started practicing with the team today in anticipation of Wednesday night's matchup in Washington, D.C. to face fellow Metropolitan Division rival Washington Capitals. However, there is no word on when Vigneault plans to give Talbot his first start. Lundqvist will undoubtedly start in goal.
Should Talbot prove to be a capable backup for Lundqvist, he will come significantly cheaper on the books: his cap hit is only $562,000—a far cry from Biron's $1.3 million, according to CapGeek.com.