The goaltending carousel has finally screeched to halt for the Edmonton Oilers.
Arguably the top free agent netminder on the board, Jack Campbell has signed a five-year contract worth $25 million to be the Oilers' new No. 1 starter.
Campbell exits the Toronto Maple Leafs after two-plus seasons, where he made 75 starts and kept a .916 save percentage consistent with his career average.
It's the second time in as many seasons that the Oilers have plucked a free agent away from the Maple Leafs after signing Zach Hyman last summer.
It's been a long road for Campbell, a first-round draft pick, 11th overall, of the Dallas Stars back in 2010. Campbell was limited to six total appearances at the NHL level before carving out a backup role behind Jonathan Quick with the Los Angeles Kings almost a decade later during the 2018-19 season. He was acquired by the Maple Leafs the following season and usurped Frederik Andersen as the team's starter the year after that.
Campbell will earn considerably less than what the Oilers were spending on the combination of Mike Smith and Mikko Koskinen over the last few seasons. With Stuart Skinner likely serving as the team's backup, that means Edmonton will be paying less for presumably improved netminding in 2022-23 and beyond.
There are some questions over whether or not Campbell, 30, is a surefire NHL starter after travelling a unique path to this point. He missed significant time for the Leafs in his first full season as an unquestioned No. 1, and showed ebb and flow in his overall performance. He corrected himself down the stretch and performed admirably in the postseason, but was ultimately out-duelled by the Tampa Bay Lightning's Andrei Vasilevskiy.
Edmonton has been big-game hunting in the free-agent goaltending market for several seasons. It's believed Ken Holland only narrowly missed out Jacob Markstrom and Philipp Grubauer in consecutive summers, resulting in the Oilers rolling out the Smith-Koskinen pairing.
It seems the Oilers are as ready now as they have been in the Connor McDavid era for a serious upgrade in net. They are coming off an appearance in the Western Conference final after the in-season additions of head coach Jay Woodcroft and winger Evander Kane helped steady the ship.
Both were retained in the offseason, and the expectation is that Holland will be able to fill more gaps after opening up a considerable amount of cap space with the retirement of Duncan Keith and buyout of Zack Kassian.
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