The New York Post reported on Thursday that the Rangers were seeking a first-round pick for the unflappable, technically sound Talbot, who has made 59 NHL appearances but never been a full-time netminder. But Friday's first round came and went without a deal.
Talbot, who turns 28 on July 5, was considered by many the most sought-after goalie on the market, with Calgary, Edmonton, Dallas and San Jose said to have been interested. Buffalo was also rumoured as a possible destination for Talbot but their GM, Tim Murray, acquired Robin Lehner from Ottawa earlier on Friday. Also Friday, Boston picked up Los Angeles Kings backup Martin Jones.
The second-round, third-round and seventh-round picks (57, 79 and 184 overall) were a steep price to pay for the Edmonton Oilers, which could see Talbot walk as an unrestricted free agent next summer.
Edmonton will also receive a later seventh-round pick.
Talbot is set to make $1.45 million US next season and can't be re-signed until Jan. 1.
He raised his value this past season during a nearly two-month period when Rangers starting goalie Henrik Lundqvist was out of the lineup with a serious neck injury.
New York didn't miss a beat, going 18-7 in that span, collecting 39 of a possible 50 points and Talbot appearing in all but two contests, going 16-4-3 with a 2.16 goals-against average and .929 save percentage. Overall, the native of Caledonia, Ont., went 21-9-4 with a 2.21 GAA and .926 save percentage.
One of the NHL's more cap-strapped teams, the Rangers had only five draft picks this weekend prior to the Talbot deal, including no first-rounders.
Dealing Talbot allowed Sather to get back some draft picks used to build a Stanley Cup contender. New York, which isn't up until the 59th selection on Saturday, hasn't had a first-round pick since 2012. This year's and next year's first-rounders belong to Tampa Bay (Martin St. Louis trade) and Arizona (Keith Yandle deal).
Last year's second-round pick was the Rangers' lone selection in the first two rounds over the last two years.
In 57 NHL regular-season games, Talbot is 33-15-5 with a 2.00 GAA and .931 save percentage.
Sather has about $11.875 million in salary cap space to try to keep restricted free-agent forwards Derek Stepan, Carl Hagelin and J.T. Miller among others.