Here’s the deal on Jack Campbell. He’s good. When he came to the Toronto Maple Leafs in early February 2020, it was a steal of a deal for the Blue and White. Campbell and Kyle Clifford came to the Toronto Maple Leafs from the Los Angeles Kings for Trevor Moore, a third-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft, and a third-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft.
Moore is still playing with the Kings and doing quite well actually. In 47 games this season, he’s scored seven goals and added 18 assists (for 25 points) with a plus-14. So it wasn’t as if the Kings got nothing for the All-Star netminder.
Still, Campbell’s turned out to be a key acquisition for the Maple Leafs. The question is, will he stay with the team?
Campbell’s 2021-22 Regular Season at a Glance
Campbell’s had a great season. If not, he wouldn’t be headed to the All-Star game. Just prior to heading to the All-Star weekend, Campbell put in a solid effort against the New Jersey Devils, stopping 31-of-32 shots in a dominating 7-1 victory. It was a good way to enter this All-Star weekend. However, it was a turnaround for the 30-year-old goalie over his play in January.
Prior to Tuesday’s start, Campbell had seen his goals-against-average rise during the last two months. In fact, January was by far his worst statistical month of the season. In his eight starts last month, he had a 5-1-1 record, but that’s deceiving.
His goals-against-average had ballooned to 3.57 and his save percentage lowered to a paltry .880 in those eight games. On the season, Campbell now has a record of 21-6-3, a goals-against-average of 2.30, and a save percentage of .925 in 32 games played. That’s good in anyone’s book.
Interviewed at the All-Star Game, Campbell Thinks His Best Is Yet to Come
As noted, the 30-year-old Campbell has had an unbelievable season for the Maple Leafs. He became the team’s starter last season when Frederik Andersen was injured; and, in that starting role, he set an NHL record for consecutive wins to start a season with 11 in 2020-21. This season, he’s established himself as the No. 1 goalie in the Maple Leafs’ organization and one of the best in the NHL.
It’s been a good time to have a great season – in fact, two good seasons – in the Maple Leafs’ net. Campbell becomes an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season and he’ll be in line for a big raise in his contract wherever he might sign.
But, Will Campbell Stay in Toronto?
Will that be in Toronto? Certainly, he’s wanted by both the organization and the fans. He’s a fan favorite and there’s been a lot of conversation about if the team can sign him to the financial level he probably deserves given his contribution to leading the team over the past two seasons.
It’s hard to say which way Campbell is leaning, but you’d have to think he’d want to stay with the Maple Leafs if a deal could be worked out. In his interview today from Las Vegas, the site of the All-Star game, Campbell noted that he had “a special relationship with the fans here.”
Campbell added that “Their chants of ‘Soupy’ are very humbling and appreciated. And every day, I wake up and I want to be the best I can possibly be both for myself and, more than that, for my teammates. We have a special bond in our dressing room.”
What Does Campbell Believe Is the Next Stage of His Journey?
However, a bit more ambivalent is his note that “My journey is just starting. I want to help this team win a Stanley Cup for the deserving people of Toronto. Everything else is out of my hands. I just want to put myself in a position to be successful.”
Finally, Campbell noted that “This is not the pinnacle of my journey, it’s just the start. I’ve worked hard to get to this point, and I’m honored to represent the Toronto Maple Leafs.”
Then, he added a “but.” “But there is so much ahead of me, so much I want to accomplish.” You’d have to think one of Campbell’s first goals is to have as great a postseason as he’s had a regular season.
How will he play during the playoffs? But first, time to enjoy the All-Star game.
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