Flyers sign forward Max Talbot
Burnside: Talbot To Philly Seems Wrong
Max Talbot said he thought he was going to play his whole career in Pittsburgh. But the Penguins couldn't accommodate his salary demands. Now, he's a Flyer. Go figure, writes Scott Burnside. Blog
Talbot, 27, is a 5-foot-11, 190-pound center who had eight goals and 21 points last season for the Pittsburgh Penguins. He was a minus-3 for the year and finished with 66 penalty minutes as Pittsburgh totaled 106 points.
"I think it's the right thing for me to do," Talbot told TSN. "It's the best team that I could go with."
Talbot's deal is worth $9 million, and he became the second former Penguin in one day to decide to play on the other side of Pennsylvania.
An hour before Talbot agreed with the Flyers, Philadelphia announced a one-year deal for free-agent forward Jaromir Jagr, 39, a former All-Star who was a first-round draft pick of the Penguins in 1990.
"It's going to be tough on us," Talbot said when asked how the Pittsburgh fans might react when they first see him and Jagr in Flyers uniforms. "It was tough for me to leave in the first place, as my heart has always been with the Pittsburgh Penguins. But at the same time, it's a new challenge for me in Philly. It's going to be real interesting.
"I never thought I'd play for another team in my life. So, it's been a rough couple of weeks for me," he said.
The Flyers also signed free-agent defenseman Andreas Lilja, 35, away from the Anaheim Ducks and gave a contract extension to right winger Jakub Voracek, 22, acquired from the Columbus Blue Jackets in the Jeff Carter trade last week.
"I believe in the changes, I believe in this team," Talbot said. "Two years ago, they were in the Stanley Cup final, so I'm going to an exciting place."
The Flyers finished with 106 points last season and won the Atlantic Division over Pittsburgh on a tiebreaker. After defeating the Buffalo Sabres in seven games in Round 1, they were swept in the conference semifinals by the eventual Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins.
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press