2) The Jack Campbell situation will be resolved
Okay, so we've been here already. Just last month, one of our four bold predictions was that Jack Campbell would be traded.
With hindsight it was clearly too early to make such a prediction. Our only defence -- and it is admittedly a tenuous one -- was the speculation Campbell was set to be recalled by the Oilers and given one final chance to prove himself in Edmonton.
Since then, the situation has only gotten even more dire for the 2010 11th overall draft pick, to the point that he lost his position as the number one netminder for the Condors. He allowed four goals on just 21 shots versus the Firebirds in a 5-2 loss, was pulled just past the halfway point of the contest, and Olivier Rodrigue took over as the main man.
So what makes us believe the situation will finally be resolved during January? Well, for a start, losing the main goalie spot seems to have finally light a fire underneath Campbell.
Facing the Barracuda in San Jose on Saturday night, the 2022 All-Star put in an excellent effort, notably just one night after Rodrigue struggled against the same opponent at home. When it was all said and done, he'd stopped 31 of the 33 shots he faced and led the Condors to a 4-2 win.
Assuming Campbell can build on this performance, the other main reason we believe his situation will finally be resolved comes down to the Oilers' approach to trading him. More specifically, what else would be included in any potential deal.
It is appreciated and understood that the 31-year-old's five-year, $25 million contract is an issue. However, speculation has it, that the Oilers are prepared to include Philip Broberg in any trade package, essentially to entice other teams.
Broberg has admittedly been a disappointment so far in Edmonton, to the point he's been labelled a draft bust in some quarters. However, this is still the same young prospect capable of becoming a top pairing blue-liner in the long term, at least in the right environment.
We appreciate the trade deadline isn't until March 8. However, the Campbell situation is one the Oilers want -- and need -- to get resolved soon, to also give them more cap space to utilize prior to said deadline.