Toronto Maple Leafs: Jack Campbell Likely Out of Vezina Race

Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Jack Campbell (36) reacts after allowing a goal Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Jack Campbell (36) reacts after allowing a goal Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /

It’s not an exaggeration that Toronto Maple Leafs’ goalie Jack Campbell was likely on voting lists for the Vezina Trophy earlier this season.

However on recent form he’s very much out of the running. The Toronto Maple Leafs have fought through it though, and for the most part, have kept on winning.

Thus Jack Campbell is going to have to settle for an All-Star selection, which in itself is quite impressive. The Vezina Trophy won’t added to his personal trophy cabinet though, unless he goes on some crazy shutout streak between now and the end of the year.

Among goalies playing 10 games or more through the first two months of the year, Jack Campbell led the league in wins, goals against average and save percentage.

Where did it start going wrong for Jack Campbell?

It was always going to be challenging maintaining a save percentage of 0.946%, likewise a 1.64 goals against average.

He started to wobble in early December with two decidedly average performances against the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Tampa Bay Lightning. However, he bounced back with 36-save and 30-save wins versus Edmonton, sandwiching a shutout against Ottawa.

With Joseph Woll sitting on the bench as backup during this time, the Maple Leafs had to lean a bit heavier on Campbell than they might’ve otherwise. Perhaps the extra workload is where it fell apart.

Unfortunately though, his save percentage for January regressed significantly to 0.880% on the month and his goals against average blew out to 3.57 per game. His 8 starts were converted into 5 wins, but that’s more on the Toronto Maple Leafs’ powerful offense.

February hasn’t been much better thus far, with the expected confidence boost of attending the All-Star Weekend not really showing. Couple that with Mrazek hitting a little form and Campbell has likely taken a fair hit to his confidence in general.

What might it mean for the Toronto Maple Leafs moving forward?

Perhaps the biggest plus of Jack Campbell’s form tailing off and him almost definitely not winning the Vezina Trophy is that his new contract will be cheaper.

While his agent can certainly add a little higher expectations salary-wise due to his All-Star selection, a Vezina win would’ve bumped those numbers a lot higher.

In fact and perhaps rather ironically, one of the best cap comparable for Cambpell assuming no Vezina Trophy win is actually his teammate, Petr Mrazek.

Whereas Mrazek doesn’t have the All-Star credentials of his colleague, he did help lead the Hurricanes to the 2018-19 Eastern Conference Final. He also has significantly more proven NHL experience with 284 games to Campbell’s 119.

In fact, it’s only really on save percentage that Campbell stands out. Surely, this should give the Toronto Maple Leafs a good point of comparison for their negotiations.

An average annual salary of $3.8 million feels like it’d offer the compromise of decent value for the team, while also rewarding Campbell.

Perhaps it’s a reach that he signs on that cheaply, but as we’ve stated, unless he shows up big in the second half of the season, it’s actually a fair price.

The big problem is that Campbell’s former team, the LA Kings signed the even more unproven Cal Petersen to a 3-year contract at $5 million a season (per CapFriendly). That deal muddies the waters considerably.

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It will be interesting to see what happens, but one thing is apparent: There likely won’t be a Vezina Trophy this season for Jack Campbell.