Say what you want about the Toronto Maple Leafs collapse, but Jack Campbell wasn’t a reason why they lost.
In the biggest game of the Toronto Maple Leafs season, Jack Campbell only allowed two goals, but his team still lost. As a pending UFA, Campbell now has an opportunity to make more money than he ever has and can play anywhere he wants.
Campbell’s career hasn’t been all roses. Despite being drafted in the First Round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, it took him roughly a decade to finally become a starting goaltender. After playing seven seasons in the minors, he finally found some success in the NHL, playing behind Jonathan Quick.
That friendship and tandem with Quick really helped him out, as he had great stats with the LA Kings before getting traded to the Leafs.
When Toronto acquired Campbell, he was the lesser-known commodity in the trade. Leafs fans were more excited about Kyle Clifford at the time, because he was a tough guy (which Toronto was lacking) with a few Stanley Cup rings,
However, sooner than later, Clifford would become an afterthought and the legend of “Soup” was born.
Toronto Maple Leafs Must Re-Sign Jack Campbell
Freddie Andersen was a number-one goalie during the Leafs first few years in the playoffs, but he never delivered in the biggest games. He was always the scape-goat and a big reason why the team lost, which is why the Toronto Maple Leafs ultimately needed to move on from him.
Campbell isn’t that guy. In fact, he’s probably a top-three most beloved player on this roster, right behind Auston Matthews and Morgan Rielly (sorry Mitch).
Even though Campbell’s stats weren’t amazing all series, he came up big in a ton of moments. He got a shut-out in Game 1, denied Tampa’s comeback in Game 3 and was very steady the rest of the series, minus Game 4.
We all wish that Campbell didn’t allow a tying goal and eventual game-winning goal in Game 6, but he still made 31 saves. Then, in Game 7, he only allowed two goals.
You can’t allow two goals and lose the game. At the very least, you have to get the game to overtime.
Toronto owes Campbell redemption and they need to pay him to stay. If that number is higher than $5M, you may want to refrain, but if Campbell’s ticket is anything less than $5M, you should pay him and you should give him a minimum of three years.
Not only does the fanbase love Soup, but the dressing room clearly does as well. In my opinion, Campbell is part of the solution, not the problem, and bringing him back for another ride will only help this team’s chances at finally winning a round, and a Stanley Cup.
Campbell’s career became something special because he came to Toronto and Kyle Dubas took a chance on him. Hopefully Campbell thanks Dubas for that opportunity and takes a hometown discount to stay in a place he’s comfortable, because the fanbase would truly appreciate that.