Jack Campbell Staying North of the Border
Jack Campbell is on the move! The former Maple Leafs netminder is heading to the Edmonton Oilers on a five-year, $25 million contract. The goalie carousel is alive and well as the former All-Star is staying in Canada. The Leafs were able to pivot by picking up both Matt Murray and Ilya Samsonov for the upcoming season. Despite reviving his career in Toronto, a fresh start was needed for Campbell.
Jekyll and Hyde Jack
It’s hard to nail down quite how good Campbell is in all honesty. 31-9-6 is a pretty good record for a starting goalie. However, a .914 save percentage and average of 2.64 goals against is meh at best. There were times that he looked absolutely unplayable, and the month of November in particular is what helped him get to this year’s All-Star game. He went an impressive 9-2 with a .959 (!!!) save percentage. For the rest of the season, however, he wasn’t able to crack .920 in a single month. In fact, his save percentage was under .900 for more months than it was over. He is a very inconsistent goalie, but the Oilers are betting on his November 2021 level of play rather than other months.
The Right Decision
It’s hard not to feel like the player or team did anything wrong here. Despite a very happy beginning, it showed to be nothing more than a honeymoon period. Being the starting goalie for Toronto is one of the hardest positions in all of sports. It’s great that he even managed to carry the torch from Frederik Andersen and do a halfway decent job. It was going to be an uphill battle for Kyle Dubas to bring him back considering their cap situation. Completely transforming the crease from Campbell and Mrazek to Murray and Samsonov is bold, but unsurprising given Dubas is in charge.
Another Deep Run in Oil Country?
It seemed like the Leafs had no more chips to push to the table compared to last year. However, Kyle Dubas has outdone himself when it comes to gambling in this group. For Campbell, he now has a different dynamic duo in front of him. Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl made their deepest playoff run of their careers in 2022. Instead of an aging Mike Smith, they now have Campbell in their crease. The retirement of Duncan Keith and the return of Brett Kulak means their blue line is uncertain at best. However, there is a chance Campbell returns to his best in a new environment. It should be must-see TV for both the Oilers and Maple Leafs this season.
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