Dear Toronto Maple Leafs, Please Sign Jack Campbell Today!

MONTREAL, QC - APRIL 28: Goaltender Jack Campbell #36 of the Toronto Maple Leafs goes through his pre-period ritual prior to the start of the second period against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre on April 28, 2021 in Montreal, Canada. The Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Montreal Canadiens 4-1. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
MONTREAL, QC - APRIL 28: Goaltender Jack Campbell #36 of the Toronto Maple Leafs goes through his pre-period ritual prior to the start of the second period against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre on April 28, 2021 in Montreal, Canada. The Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Montreal Canadiens 4-1. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images) /
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Jack Campbell is playing his way out of the Toronto Maple Leafs lineup next season.

Money, term or both? The Toronto Maple Leafs have a big question to ask themselves when it comes to Jack Campbell’s next contract.

For the first time in his NHL career, Jack Campbell is going to be a big-name free agent who can demand the world next offseason. Unless, the Leafs sign him before he hits free agency. However, it’s a tough decision to make, as although he’s playing amazing, he’s only played 100 career games and 42 games in Toronto.

In those 42 games, Campbell has had Vezina Trophy stats. He has a 29-8-4 record, .928 SV% and 2.07 GAA (stats: hockeyreference.com). If all of those 42 games happened in one season, we could say it’s a fluke, but it’s spanned over the past three years, so he’s stayed consistent ever since he joined the organization.

Even though it’s a short sample size, that consistency over a few years is a huge piece to me. Any goalie can get hot in a calendar year, but to continue to show-up night-after-night during a pandemic and deliver is incredibly impressive.

Toronto Maple Leafs Need to Sign Campbell Today

In 14 games played this year, Campbell has three shut-outs and leads the NHL with a 1.68 GAA and .943 SV%. He’s obviously going to regress but if he can stay on track for the rest of the year, he will be nominated for a Vezina Trophy and could represent Team USA and the Winter Olympics.

If I’m in the Leafs, the last thing I want is my best goalie going to the Olympics and potentially injuring himself, but it’s such a huge honor to represent your country, so it would be amazing to see that happen for him. After being a first-round draft pick, it’s taken Campbell almost a decade to find his groove, so it’s great to see him finally living up to his potential.

I know I continue to harp that it’s a small sample size for Campbell, but I’ve seen enough and have heard enough great things about him as a person, that this player needs to be re-signed immediately.

The Leafs are tight to the salary cap, but if they give Campbell the Freddie Andersen $5M x 5 year contract, they can still afford him. They’ll have to trade Petr Mrazek or bury his contract in the minors, but the team can find a way to afford him at that price.

Could Campbell find more than $5M per year on the open-market? Maybe. But after struggling for a decade to find a place where he belongs, you’d think that he’d want to stay in Toronto long-term. The Leafs are the only organization where he’s had this success and he’s fitting in tremendously, so why leave a good thing?

The grass isn’t always greener on the other side, so if Campbell is smart and the Leafs are willing to offer it, Campbell should accept any contract with at least a four-year term to make sure he’s stable and can be the goaltender that leads Toronto to a Stanley Cup.

I don’t want free agency to come around next offseason and read the headline “No Soup for You!” Instead, I’d rather scream “Soup” from the top of my lungs when he makes a huge save in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Nick Ritchie is Entering David Clarkson Territory. dark. Next

Let’s get this done before it’s too late and Campbell chases those extra dollars, because the fanbase hasn’t fallen in love with a goalie like this since the Curtis Joseph era.