Free Agent to be? Max Talbot hasn't talked with Pens yet

SUNRISE, FL - APRIL 2: Maxime Talbot #25 talks to goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury #29 of the Pittsburgh Penguins prior to the NHL game against the Florida Panthers on April 2, 2011 at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Florida. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

An article from the French website RDS has hit about future ex Penguin (?) Maxime Talbot.  Courtesy a rough translation, here's what it (sort of) reads in English:

While some Quebecers are reluctant to want to join the Montreal Canadiens for various reasons, this is not the case Maxime Talbot could be free as air in the coming weeks.

One who just completed his sixth season in the uniform of the Pittsburgh Penguins found at the show Hockey 360, that Montreal could be a possible destination in the event it is still without a contract on July 1.

"If I lose my time with the Penguins, we will look at the options available to us. To a Quebecer like me, Montreal is still a very attractive place and for sure I would be interested. "

Talbot also said he had not yet begun to negotiate a new agreement with the team who had fished in the eighth round in 2002.

Several players from the Penguins have had their contracts expire at the end of last season.  In addition to Talbot, Pascal Dupuis, Michael Rupp, Arron Asham, Eric Godard, Craig Adams and Chris Conner are all eligible for full autonomy if they are not under contract July 1.

General manager Ray Shero has already announced that Alex Kovalev and Mike Comrie will not be back with the team.

In six years in Pittsburgh, Talbot had the privilege of lifting the Stanley Cup in 2009. He particularly scored twice in the seventh game of the finals against Detroit.

He claimed 108 points in 388 games since the start of his career. He also collected 33 points in 66 playoff games.


In a way, this isn't much news- the Penguins haven't re-signed any of the NHL free agents yet, and aside from a dialogue with Craig Adams, haven't had extensive talks with many players either.

And when you talk to the French media, it's probably a smart thing to throw out playing in front of the Montreal fans, so I wouldn't read too much into that either.

It may indicate that the Pens haven't put much stock into a 2011-12 with Talbot on the roster though.  And with Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Jordan Staal, Mark Letestu all on the lineup as centers (with Dustin Jeffrey and possibly Craig Adams in the mix too), it's hard to really envision too much of a role for Talbot at center.  As a winger, he hasn't put up the amount of points that would indicate he needs to be a priority either.

From Stanley Cup hero to needing a contract and role, it'll be interesting to see how things play out between Talbot and the Penguins...That is, if the Penguins are looking to play anything out with him at all moving forward.

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