Seeing Max Talbot wearing a Flyers sweater last season was...strange.
Even stranger was seeing so many Penguins show so much love for a guy wearing that sweater. But then, this is Talbot we are talking about.
It's no surprise that former teammates Marc-Andre Fleury, Kris Letang and Colby Armstrong said yes to Talbot's request to play tournament games among NHL players next week in Montreal.
Truth is, most in the Penguins locker room never wanted to see Talbot leave. And, in some ways, the locker room hasn't been the same without him. There are no bad apples in the Penguins' room, and, honestly, it's a very close team. But Talbot had a special quality about him, an intangible that was very clearly lacking in the postseason.
As talented as the Penguins were last season, they were missing something. Call it guts. Call it heart. Call it desperation. Call it clutch.
I don't believe any of that.
Maybe they were just missing Talbot. He wasn't your ordinary third or fourth liner. Never will be. To this day, so many Penguins still smile when Talbot's name comes up. They love the guy.
Ray Shero can't be blamed for not matching the Flyers' offer. But his old teammates can't be blamed for missing him.
No wonder so many are heading to Montreal.