The Jack Campbell Situation

NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 19: Jack Campbell #36 of the Edmonton Oilers stands in net against the Nashville Predators during the first period at Bridgestone Arena on December 19, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 19: Jack Campbell #36 of the Edmonton Oilers stands in net against the Nashville Predators during the first period at Bridgestone Arena on December 19, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images) /
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Edmonton Oilers Goalie Stuart Skinner
Dec 27, 2022; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers goaltender Stuart Skinner (74) guards his net against the Calgary Flames during the second period at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports /

1. Just Keep Playing Him Eventually as a Backup Goalie

The first option and the one I believe will be used for some time is just to keep what the team is doing now. But this is only possible because Stuart Skinner is playing in an extraordinary way, a thing that not even the Oilers GM Ken Holland expected to see so soon. It scares me only to think how the Oilers would be if Skinner wasn’t having a season that even puts him in the Calder Trophy conversation.

Jack Campbell has already proved that he can be a great goalie. But he has already proved he can be an unstable goalie as well. Last season he had a great win record with the Toronto Maple Leafs, with 31-9-6. But more than that, this season combined with how great he played in 2021, along with the lack of great names on the market, got him the Oilers contract he has now.

Just look how different he played in 2021 and 2022, but defensive help and good offensive action from the 2022-23 Maple Leafs made him a good winning record.

"Let’s concentrate, however, on the netminder’s primary job, keeping the puck out of his own net. Campbell played around 50 regular season games in both calendar years, with vastly different results. Of the 64 NHL goalies who played 1000 minutes in 2021, he ranked #1 in save percentage at .930, and #2 in goals against average at 2.04. His 26.3 Goals Saved Above Average was #3 in raw totals behind only workhorses Andrei Vasilevskiy and Juuse Saros, while his rate of 0.60 GSAA per 60 was the best in the league. Of the 66 goalies who played 1000 minutes in 2022, he ranked #65 in Sv% and #54 in GAA. His GSAA of -22.7 ranked dead last, while his per-60 rate of -0.57 placed him above only former Leafs teammate Petr Mrazek, now with Chicago."

2. Get Jack Campbell Time in Bakersfield

This is an option that can work or make the situation even worse. One of the main issues Jack Campbell is facing right now is the pressure on his mind, and some time away from Edmonton can help him, but it has to be made in the right way by the Oilers office.

Right Now the Oilers can rely on Stuart Skinner to be his first goalie and would even get a boost of confidence on the new goalies, mostly on the young Olivier Rodrigue and on Calvin Pickard as well. By now, the 20-years-old has .911 sv% and 2.98 GAA on 17 games with the Condors in the AHL and Calvin Pickard has .899 sv% and 3.12 GAA on 8 games, so the young Rodrigue would be the obvious choice to get his spot on Edmonton in his time on the AHL.

The Los Angeles Kings had a similar situation with Cal Petersen, even with a similar contract, with him getting exactly 5M AAV like Jack Campbell, only with a different duration, with 3 years. Right now he is still on the Ontario Reign having .917 sv% and 2.65 GAA in 8 games. As they have Jonathan Quick, they can give him some time to work it out away from the AHL, and the Oilers could do it as well, but it’s a bet that might work.

3. Search For a Trade (Or Buyout His Contract)

These are the least possible options so far. It would be really difficult and would cost a lot for the Oilers to any team to get his 5-year contract by him playing like it, and even with Skinner being great, it would be too heavy for him to get all the pressure of being the only Oilers’ goalie right now. And if the Oilers couldn’t get another goalie, Skinner would have to become a kind of mentor to Olivier Rodrigue, which is too soon for each of them.

To add against the trade option, he has a no-trade list for 10 of the 32 NHL teams. for the buyout option, it is too soon as well to think about it, as he is an Oilers’ player until 2027, and would cost more than 12 million to the Oilers and affect the team until 2031 with a cap hit of $1.541.667.

"A Jack Campbell buyout spans 8 years, has a cost of $12,333,333 and savings of $6,166,667. Campbell is 31 years of age at the time of the buyout; therefore, the buyout ratio is 2/3. With $18,500,000 in salary remaining, the cost is $12,333,333, and the savings are $6,166,667. Buyouts span twice the length of the remaining years and because there are 4 years remaining in the contract, the buyout length is 8 years."

As he is having a difficult season, he already proved to be an NHL-caliber goalie, getting good games even in the playoffs with the Maple Leafs in the last two seasons. With a contract with a 5-year length, the Oilers staff has to keep giving him chances to get back to his best and thank Stuart Skinner for having a terrific season, which lets the team take care of the situation.