Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Seravalli: Oilers not aggressively seeking goaltending help
3 months ago
The Edmonton Oilers decided to send Jack Campbell to the Bakersfield Condors on Wednesday after he cleared waivers. The decision came after the team suffered another loss to the Vancouver Canucks, losing 6-2 as the team fell to 2-8-1. Campbell didn’t play on Monday; however, a shake-up needed to happen with the Oilers season already on the line only eleven games in.
Campbell is in the second season of a five-year deal in Edmonton, and it’s safe to say things have not gone well. In 41 games for the Oilers, Campbell has played in 41 games and has a 3.53 goals against average and a 0.886 save percentage in the regular season. He does have 22 wins, which is the lone bright spot so far.
This season, he has had bright moments with 43 save game versus the Nashville Predators in one of the Oilers two wins. Unfortunately, Campbell hasn’t been able to reach those heights since, as he has a combined save percentage of 0.845 in his last three games.
The funny part is, statistically, Campbell has been the Oilers’ better goalie: his 0.873 SV% is superior to Stuart Skinner’s 0.856 SV%. However, Campbell was sacrificed to waivers because of his cap hit and contract length. While Skinner has been bad, the team knows he can perform at a much higher level. Unfortunately for Campbell, he hasn’t shown that ability in an Oilers uniform consistently enough to earn that same respect.
So what now for the Oilers? Calvin Pickard is now with the team from the Condors after Campbell officially cleared. Pickard has had an excellent start to the season in the AHL, with a 0.939 SV% and a 2.03 GAA in four games. He is 31 and has played in 116 NHL regular season games.
Pickard is a stopgap for Edmonton as they look to get their season back on track. Frank Seravalli joined Oilersnation Everyday with Tyler Yaremchuk and gave some insight on the plan for Campbell.
“Ideally, the team hopes to have an idea of Campbell around December 1st,” said Seravalli. “He’s no stranger to being in the AHL. He’s had to go and find himself now multiple times. I think so much of Campbell’s issues are mental, and I don’t know if that’s possible or not to fix in a one-month stint. The Oilers are hoping that away from the spotlight of the NHL, he at least has an opportunity to find his game again.”
Within the time Campbell was put on waivers to right now, rumours have swirled heavily around a possible replacement for him. Various names have made their rounds through Twitter, with the headliner being Jordan Binnington from the St. Louis Blues. Binnington is 30 with four years left on his deal with an average annual value of $6 million.
Along with Binnington, other names linked with the Oilers have been Jake Allen (Montreal) and Carter Hart (Philadelphia Flyers). Juuse Saros is another name fans have shown intrigue in; however, it’s more likely the Nashville Predators re-sign Saros rather than trade him.
Despite the speculation in the last day, it sounds like the Oilers aren’t shopping as aggressively as it may seem.
“I know they haven’t been aggressive to this point,” said Frank Seravalli on the possibility of acquiring a new goalie. “In internal conversations, they’ve probably compiled a list of potential targets. I don’t get excited about the names that have been mentioned maybe outside of Carter Hart. The Oilers recognise that getting to that point of getting a new goaltender is going to cost them. If possible, They would prefer to keep their powder dry to fix some of the other issues.”
The whole situation is in Campbell’s hands. If Campbell can return his form to Edmonton within the next month, don’t expect the Oilers to acquire a new goaltender. However, if things continue to go south for him in Bakersfield, Ken Holland may have no choice but to find a new partner for Skinner.
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