Thoughts on Ex Toronto Maple Leafs Goalie Jack Campbell Being Bought Out

Edmonton Oilers v Minnesota Wild
Edmonton Oilers v Minnesota Wild / David Berding/GettyImages
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Throughout the 2023-24 NHL Season there was speculation that former Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Jack Campbell would be bought out this summer after being demoted to the American Hockey League and it appears that is the case.

NHL Insider Elliotte Friedman reported on Sunday morning that Toronto Maple Leafs starting goalie in the 2021-22 season was being bought out after the second year of a five year $25 Million contract he signed in the summer of 2022 with the Oilers.

Campbell's salary page on CapFriendly now displays the dead cap hit for the Edmonton Oilers will be:
2024-25: $1.1 Million
2025-26: $2.3 Million
2026-27: $2.6 Million
2027-28: $1.5 Million
2028-29: $1.5 Million
2029-30: $1.5 Million

As correctly predicted, signing Jack Campbell to a long contract was a terrible idea.

Toronto Maple Leafs Should Have Taken a Flyer on Jack Campbell

The buyout of Campbell's contract will now make him an unrestricted free agent to sign anywhere after posting a 22-13-4 record with the Oilers and a horrendous 3.53 GAA and .886 Save Percentage. Even with those blundering statistics, I feel the Maple Leafs should have taken a chance on Campbell and sign him to a contract.

Pretty much every player wants to play for a contender, make a lot of money and be in a franchise where they are comfortable. While the ideal situation is they will get each of those three categories, however, most times that is not the case so they have to determine which one is the most important. With everything we learned about Campbell while he was a Toronto Maple Leaf is at this stage of his career playing for a franchise and in a city he is most comfortable would be his top priority.

Since turning pro in 2011, Campbell had the most success of his career in Toronto and an opportunity to return could have been great..

Unfortunately, they went in another direction.

As free-agency got underway yesterday afternoon, the Toronto Maple Leafs instantly clarified their goalie situation.

First they signed Florida Panthers and ex-Anahim Ducks back-up Anthony Stolarz, who is 30.

Then they re-signed Matt Murray to be their third-stringer, which was quite shocking to say the least. Assumedly, that means that Martin Jones is gone from the organization.

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The Leafs must really believe in Woll for them to settle on Stolarz, but pershaps there is some untapped upside to his game. I would have prefered Jack Campbell coming back.