Calgary Flames goalie Cam Talbot has made good use of his time during the COVID lockdown. The Caledonia-born former member of the Hamilton Junior Red Wings has staged a fundraiser to reinstate the cancelled NCAA Division 1 hockey program at the University of Alabama, Huntsville where Cam played his college hockey. When Cam learned that the program had been cancelled as a cost-cutting measure he headed up a fundraising drive that raised a Million dollars over four days and saved the program. Cam’s former coach Tom Cole, who now owns and coaches the Glanbrook Rangers Junior C team, recalls that Cam always had to prove himself. “He was a kid that was always overlooked but he kept working hard at it. He didn’t get drafted by any of the Ivy League teams but was picked up by (The university of) Alabama –Huntsville”. After college Cam played four seasons in the AHL and the rough and tumble ECHL, before his first call-up from the Rangers where he appeared in 21 games, posting a 1.64 goals against average and 3 shutouts.
Cam now has 314 NHL games under his belt with the Rangers, Flyers, Oilers and now the Flames where he has been since the beginning of the now shortened season. He boasts a lifetime GAA of 2.61.
About the University of Alabama, Cam told the Toronto Sun, “The University of Alabama in Huntsville was everything to my career. I wouldn’t have had the career I’ve had to this point without it.” He studied and played there for three years on a full hockey scholarship. “I don’t know that I fully expected us to hit this goal,” Talbot said. “Especially in times like these, when things are so tough for everybody. To be able to raise that amount of money in four, four-and-a-half days is unbelievable. The amount of support we got from the hockey community and beyond is just incredible.” With two major boosters pitching in $125,000 each, the impromptu fundraising campaign led the university to say it had enough money to bring the program back in 2020-21