Pens prep to meet former teammate Talbot

Jerry DiPaola
| Thursday, Dec. 8, 2011

The day before Max Talbot signed a five-year, $8.75 million contract with the Philadelphia Flyers, Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury played golf with his soon-to-be-former teammate in Montreal.

Did he try to talk Talbot into returning to the Penguins, considering they were together for the past six seasons and won the Stanley Cup in 2009?

"I did," said Fleury, a guest along with Penguins defenseman Kris Letang at Talbot's charity tournament. "I tried my best."

Fleury had no chance. The Penguins were offering fewer years (three) than Philadelphia and less money than Talbot had earned last season.

"That's the way hockey goes, I guess," Fleury said.

Maybe Fleury will have better luck with Talbot on Thursday night. The Penguins visit the Flyers at Wells Fargo Center, and Talbot has found a new home in Philadelphia, posting six goals and six assists in 25 games entering Wednesday night's matchup with Buffalo.

Over the years, Fleury faced Talbot regularly in practice, but he said, "It will be different because this one counts."

Said defenseman Brooks Orpik: "It will be more weird for Max than it will be for us. It's just another game for us. I've played against former teammates, but I never had to play against my former team. I'm sure he will be a little bit nervous going into it."

Orpik said Talbot, whose two goals in Game 7 of the 2009 Stanley Cup Final lifted the Penguins to their third title, brings a spark to the game that rubs off on his teammates.

"He's a fun guy who comes to the rink and has a lot of energy," he said. "When he gets to his 500th (career) game, he will be just as excited for that as he was for his first one. It's pretty contagious. Guys like that ... the way they act rubs off on other guys. It picks other guys up."

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