Will the Oilers trade Jack Campbell by the deadline? It’s not looking like it.

Photo credit:Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
1 month ago
If you had told me back in November when the Oilers put Jack Campbell on waivers that he’d still be in the organization/still in Bakersfield at the end of February, I’m not sure I would have believed you. And with the trade deadline fast approaching, many Oilers fans are wondering what will happen to the goalie who was waived only 16 months after signing a $25 million contract.
Will he be traded? Will he be back? Will we wait until the summer? It’s starting to sound like our boy, Soup, could be sticking around a little bit longer than we initially expected.
Yesterday on Oilersnation Everyday, Frank Seravalli joined Tyler and Liam to talk about the Oilers and what they might do at the trade deadline. But when he was asked if Campbell is still on the block to move, the Oilers’ recent play has Frank thinking that a Campbell move might be farther away than we may have thought.
“It’s a situation that needs to be addressed. I don’t think it is prudent to do it right now,” Seravelli said. “I’d been saying for months on this show that I thought they should try and find a way to move him. But I think with the way things have developed. With the spot that they’re in, not addressing their goaltending.”
Given that the Oilers have plenty of needs heading into the NHL trade deadline and few assets available to make those deals, Frank told the boys that the team may be better off waiting until the summer when the cost to move on drops slightly.
“I think they’re better off keeping him right now and then potentially addressing that in the summer. I think waiting as long as they can on that front will be certainly more beneficial.”
A few months back, Frank speculated that the cost to move on from what remains of Campbell’s $25 million contract could be a first and third-round pick, and it’s interesting to see how the tone has changed when it comes to pulling the trigger on a trade.
Here’s what he said back in November:
“It’s probably one first-round pick and a third. It would be trade first, buyout second and retain third. You need to get rid of that contract, and that’s why the buyout might still be a little attractive. What you really need to think about is next season and beyond so you want as little on the books as you can. However, the first priority should be getting him offloaded somehow.”
Of course, the Oilers were in a total tailspin at that point of the season, and it honestly looked like they’d be out of playoff contention before the campaign really got going, but that all changed after Kris Knoblauch came to town. Now, the Oilers are sitting in third place in the Pacific Division with games in hand on teams they’re chasing, meaning how they spend their trade assets has shifted dramatically.
Given that there are holes in the roster that need plugging for the Oilers’ playoff push, it seems, based on what Frank is hearing, that the team would rather spend what they have on filling those gaps instead of moving on from their beleaguered netminder. As much as it would be nice to free up that cap space and use it to go fishing for difference makers, moving on from Campbell doesn’t seem to be in the cards just yet.
The bigger question could be whether or not we see him back in an Oilers uniform at any point this season. That’s not to diminish what Calvin Pickard has done so far in his tenure as backup, but I don’t know how many Oilers fans are genuinely comfortable with our current duo heading into the playoffs. Even though it seems unlikely that he’d be back, Campbell’s recent play in the AHL could change those plans. I mean, we were almost certain to be traded months back, and yet, he’s still here.
When Mark Spector spoke to Campbell a couple of weeks back about his renewed focus and joy for the game, Campbell reiterated that his goal is to get back into the NHL.
“Now that I’ve made these amazing changes to myself off the ice, and it’s shifted to on the ice, man…,” he said. “I would just love another opportunity in the NHL. What I’ve done in my NHL career, the success I’ve had, I don’t want to put any pressure on it, but what I’ve learned being here — through this — will really be something special if I get another chance. Which I would be grateful for.”
Could that second chance happen in Edmonton, or will we have to wait to see who takes a chance on the 32-year-old goaltender? Either way, it doesn’t seem like Soup will be getting traded any time soon, and that change of plan potentially leaves the door open for another strange chapter in this story.
That’s a pretty remarkable turnaround for a guy that looked like he was absolutely getting traded only a few short months ago at all costs.

Jack Campbell’s 2023-24 season so far

2023-24Edmonton OilersNHL26720004.501401370.873
2023-24Bakersfield CondorsAHL119960313.00101005860.907
NHL Totals102.769352180.909

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