NHL Free Agency 2011: Maxime Talbot Crosses Enemy Lines, Signs with Flyers

Alison MyersCorrespondent IJuly 1, 2011

NEWARK, NJ - MARCH 04:  Maxime Talbot #25 of the Pittsburgh Penguins skates against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on March 4, 2011 in Newark, New Jersey. The Devils defeated the Penguins 2-1 in overtime.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Pittsburgh Penguins center Maxime Talbot, who became an unrestricted free agent today, signed a five-year contract with the Penguins' biggest rivals, the Philadelphia Flyers. According to TSN, Talbot's deal is worth $9 million.

Talbot has spent his entire career to date with the Penguins organization. Much like Tyler Kennedy, who was re-signed earlier today, Talbot is a homegrown player. From 2004 to 2006, he cut his teeth with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins of the American Hockey League.

He posted four 20-point seasons as a member of the Penguins. This year, he posted 21 points in 82 games to go with two shorthanded goals and two game-winning goals. He also had four points and a plus-one in seven playoff games.

Talbot was seventh on the team during the regular season with 154 hits and fourth with 2:55 of ice time on the Penguins' top-ranked penalty kill. In the playoffs, he was ninth with 16:53 of ice time and a 46.8 percent faceoff win percentage. He was also sixth with 2:27 of ice time while the Penguins were shorthanded.

During the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Talbot's fan favorite status reached its peak. In Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Flyers, Talbot fought Daniel Carcillo to spark Pittsburgh, who were down in the game. As he was being taken to the penalty box, he put his finger to his mouth in a "shhhh" gesture.

The Penguins came back from behind to win the game and the series.

He continued his standout performance by scoring both of the Penguins' goals in Game 7 of the 2009 Cup finals. Pittsburgh won 2-1 and captured their third Stanley Cup in franchise history.

With Ilya Bryzgalov signed recently, along with the additions of Jaromir Jagr and Max Talbot, the Flyers look to still be in serious contention for a playoff spot as the 2011-12 season gets underway.