Concern #1 - Alain Vigneault may go insane. In Vancouver, Vigneault had perhaps the games premier goaltender. Over the years, he and his staff developed a young goaltender to become a highly qualified backup. Goodbye, Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider. Hello, Henrik Lundqvist and Cam Talbot. Now, Talbot is not even close to Schneider's level yet, but with how the youngster has played early in his career, this could get interesting in three or four years if Lundqvist's game starts to falter. Vigneault may again get stuck in a goaltending controversy. This is a big "what if", but Vigneault had better be prepared.
This leads to Concern #2 - What happens when/if Talbot begins to outplay his predecessor? How is the transition made? Lundqvist's new deal brings him to the age of 38. He's already played a lot of hockey and at some point his body may force him to break down a far before we or he expects it to. So where is the tipping point for Talbot? How many games do the Rangers start feeding the youngster to prepare him to possibly take the reigns, or...
Concern #3 ....to trade Talbot down the road? There's no way Talbot, currently 26, wants to back up Lundqvist until he's 33. He'll want to start and it's just a matter of time before he is moved or he begins to unseat Lundqvist. At this point I want to remind you that I'm not suggesting Lundqvist will unravel or that the Rangers should start pulling the plug on him in a few years. It's simply the way things go. It's inevitable that something will come along that will force a decision. Isn't that right Luongo and Schneider? Lundqvist's contract is front loaded, but he still would not be easy to deal if the time ever came, unless the salary cap explodes over the next several years. Let's be honest, it's a real possibility and maybe that's what the Rangers are counting on.
Regardless, even though it's a lot of money to a well used 31 year old goaltender, someone of his caliber who can handle the bright Broadway lights doesn't come along too often. Talbot will be great for another couple of years playing backup until he becomes an unrestricted free agent in the heart of his prime at 28 years old. The Rangers could bring in a very solid return either at the draft or the trade deadline at that time. Who knows, maybe the Rangers have this all planned out - the contract, the cap, Talbot's free agency and the eventual heir to the throne. I hope it goes that smoothly for them. If not, it's sure going to be interesting to see how the duo is handled.