Jack Campbell Earns Likely Last Chance in NHL With Detroit Red Wings

The Hockey Writers

The Edmonton Oilers made the decision prior to free agency to buy out the final three seasons of goaltender Jack Campbell’s contract. While it saves them some money now, it may hurt them a bit down the line as he’ll cost the team money and won’t be playing for them. Unfortunately for Campbell, he had a terrible tenure with the Oilers and it’s no surprise that he is no longer with the team. On a brighter note, he was able to land on his feet and earn a new contract with the Detroit Red Wings, who signed him to a one-year deal worth $775,000. While the Red Wings fanbase seemed a bit confused by the move, it seems to be something they did to add depth between the pipes, and it’s a low-risk deal that could pay off if Campbell can miraculously bounce back. 

In a way, this is likely Campbell’s last shot at making it back to the NHL. It’s unlikely that he will make the Red Wings out of camp for the 2024-25 season, but nothing is impossible. The odds are stacked against him though, as the Red Wings have Alex Lyon, Ville Husso, as well as newly-signed Cam Talbot, who are all likely ahead of Campbell on the depth chart heading into the new campaign. For Campbell, this contract could be a simple reset with some American Hockey League (AHL) playing time. If he can have a strong start to the season and the Red Wings struggle out of the gates, he could get a crack at an NHL return. 

Jack Campbell Edmonton Oilers
Jack Campbell, Edmonton Oilers (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Unfortunately for Campbell, he currently sits as the backup AHL goaltender with the Red Wings. While it’s only a one-year contract and all of Husso, Lyon, and Talbot have dealt with serious injuries previously, it’s his best shot to climb back to the big leagues. While he’s not a rookie by any means, he is going to have to play like a young gun with something to prove and give NHL teams a reason to want to give him a shot. 

Red Wings Could Be Showcase for Campbell

While it’s unlikely Campbell plays a single game in a Red Wings jersey, playing with the Grand Rapids Griffins in the AHL could be a bit of a showcase for Campbell to other teams looking for goaltending. Any team that comes out of the gates struggling could look to make a change between the pipes and if he impresses, he is on a really good contract and could be someone teams consider acquiring. It will take a lot of work for him to make it back, especially with prospect goaltender Sebastian Cossa looking to earn playing time in the AHL again this season, but Campbell is the type of good guy off the ice that fans will be cheering for. 

Related: Oilers Signing Jeff Skinner & Viktor Arvidsson Bolsters Offensive Depth

It’s hard to figure out what went wrong for Campbell when he joined the Oilers, since he never really gained his footing and was never able to solidify himself as a strong asset. The Oilers chose to sign him to a massive five-year deal after a short and impressive stint with the Toronto Maple Leafs enticed plenty of teams to target him, but it seems like a fluke that Campbell was ever a starting goaltender at the NHL level. 

The Oilers are set in stone with their goaltending tandem of Stuart Skinner and Calvin Pickard heading toward the new season. They provided strength between the pipes in the postseason, and are a duo that the Oilers will rely on to get them back to the Stanley Cup picture. Hopefully, Campbell can bounce back with the Red Wings and earn another shot at the NHL level with the odds stacked against him, because this would be one of the coolest underdog stories in recent NHL history if he can pull it off. 

The Hockey Writers Substack banner Detroit Red Wings

Articles You May Like

Which NHL Playoff Drought Will End This Season?
Grading the Red Wings’ 2024 Offseason
Red Wings Top 25 Prospects: Post-2024 NHL Draft
Red Wings’ Playoff Drought Will End This Season

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *