The NHL 15: Jack Campbell will dictate what the Oilers can do
The Edmonton Oilers have almost every possible ingredient to win the Stanley Cup but somebody needs to take control of the net. It almost certainly needs to be Jack Campbell.
As we approach the start of the 2023-24 NHL season I am going to take a look at 15 players worth paying attention to this season for one reason or another.
These are not necessarily the best players. Some of them might be, but others might be more obscure. This not a ranking of any kind. It is simply a look at players that I think have some kind of interesting storyline to watch or could have a major impact on the NHL this season.
We continue today with Edmonton Oilers goalie Jack Campbell.
On the list of players under the most pressure to perform this season Edmonton Oilers goalie Jack Campbell would almost certainly have to be at the top of the list.
He is in the second year of a five-year, $25 million free agency contract, and is playing the most important and game-changing position for a team that should have every possible ingredient to seriously compete for a Stanley Cup.
The one ingredient that was missing last season was …. him.
The Oilers signed him with the intention that he could fix the goaltending issue that has existed in Edmonton for years, and be one of the missing pieces to get Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl to a Stanley Cup Final.
I have been a harsh critic of Edmonton for most of the McDavid-Draisaitl era due to the front offices inability to build a good team around them. For most of their careers the Oilers’ entire recipe for winning was the hope those two could outscore the rest of the team’s many deficiencies.
They made bad roster decisions around them, gave out bad contracts, assembled terrible depth, and when general manager Ken Holland spoke after that one trade deadline and said you have to “pick and choose when you go all in” my brain wanted to melt.
Brother, when you have Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, EVERY year is an all-in year.
To the Oilers’ credit, they fixed a lot of the problems that had previously existed.
To Holland’s credit, he made a blockbuster acquisition at last year’s trade deadline to land a bonafide top-pairing defender in Mattias Ekholm.
Last year’s Oilers’ squad actually resembled a top-tier Stanley Cup contender with one notable exception.
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