Kyle Dubas' Smartest Move as Leafs GM Confirmed in an Article by The Athletic

Published March 7, 2023 at 4:31 PM

Kyle Dubas has done great work as GM of the Maple Leafs, but his best move appears to be something he didn't do at all.

Letting Campbell Walk, Dubas' Best Move

Jack Campbell is in year one of the five-year $25-million deal he signed in Edmonton this past off-season. In that time, he has crumbled to a deep sub-900 save percentage, and has lost the starter job to rookie Stuart Skinner.

It's fair to say that the deal is an unequivocal disaster for the Oilers, who are starved for cap space as is.

Campbell earned his payday last season in Toronto, but clearly management concluded (correctly) that Campbell's numbers were unsustainable.

While goaltending is by no means the Maple Leafs greatest strength, both Matt Murray and Ilya Samsonov are having much better seasons than Jack Campbell.

The Athletic Names Campbell a Top Disappointment

This afternoon, the Athletic released their article of the top disappointments of the 2022-23 campaign. Campbell made the list, which is likely the first individual accolade he's earned all season.

After streaky, inconsistent play from Mike Smith and Mikko Koskinen, one of the Oilers' top offseason priorities was upgrading in net. It was a challenging time to be shopping for goalie help because there was a surplus of teams in need of upgrades and a shortage of quality goaltenders. Edmonton decided to be aggressive regardless, signing Jack Campbell to a five-year, $25-million contract.

Less than a year in, many look at it as one of the riskiest contracts in the league.

Campbell's -22.5 goals above expected according to Evolving-Hockey's model ranks third-to-last in the NHL, ahead of only Spencer Martin and Elvis Merzlikins.

Edmonton's been bailed out by the emergence of Stuart Skinner. Skinner's notched a .912 save percentage and saved 11.5 goals above expected. Credit the Oilers for quickly signing him to an extension with a $2.6 million cap hit for the next three years after this one — it ensures they'll at least have some cost certainty and a probable bargain to offset the inefficient value of Campbell's deal.

One reason for hope is that Campbell's overcome tremendous adversity in his career before. He knows what it's like to have sky-high expectations, fail and then bounce back — that's what happened when he was drafted No.11 by the Stars, struggled in the minors for years and then rebuilt his stock in Toronto. Hopefully, that resilience can come in handy.

Dubas has made a lot of great moves as Maple Leafs GM, but there are 25-million reasons that Jack Campbell is his best one.

Source: The Athletic
March 7   |   536 answers
Kyle Dubas' Smartest Move as Leafs GM Confirmed in an Article by The Athletic

Do you think Kyle Dubas made the right decision letting Jack Campbell walk?

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