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Campbell Signs in Dallas, Questions Remain For Stars

Campbell Signs in Dallas, Questions Remain For Stars

JackCampbellLate Wednesday evening, the Dallas Stars announced that they had come to terms with their former first round pick, Jack Campbell. The contract is a one-year, two way deal believed to be worth $650,000 in the NHL and $90,000 in the AHL. It’s not out of line to see this as a “show me” deal, although Campbell is still young as NHL goaltenders go.

Campbell, 23, was drafted in 2011 but has yet to break through to the NHL. His development has undoubtedly been affected by injury and illness that have kept him off the ice, but his AHL performance has not been up to expectations, either. In his four seasons with Dallas’s AHL affiliate Texas Stars, Campbell has played only 103 games total and has a save percentage of .912 and has at times bounced between the AHL and the ECHL’s Idaho Steelheads.

The departure of Jussi Rynnas for the KHL opens up the opportunity for Campbell to take control of the Texas Stars’ starting role and show that he can stay healthy, manage a larger workload, and maintain a consistent performance. Dallas Stars General Manager Jim Nill talked to the Stars’ website about their expectations for Campbell.

“For Jack Campbell, he’s going to be the No. 1 goaltender in Texas. He needs to grab that,” Nill said.

“He needs to stay healthy, and he needs to play. He needs to develop,” Nill said. “He needs to grab the No. 1 spot down in Texas.”

And the Stars are setting up a structure to help with that development by creating a new position of Director of Goaltender Development. As reported at InGoal last week, longtime Stars goaltending coach Mike Valley will occupy that position while Jeff Reese will come in and take over the coaching duties for the NHL club. Valley will work closely with the franchise’s minor league goalies, including Campbell, giving them one more tool to succeed.

In addition to this deal, the Stars will need to address their NHL needs. Jhonas Enroth, acquired at the trade deadline from the Buffalo Sabres, is a pending unrestricted free agent and there is no indication yet whether he will be re-signed to back up Kari Lehtonen. And trade rumors continue to swirl around Lehtonen himself, despite Nill’s indication that he is not actively looking to trade away his veteran starter.

With the names assumed to be available on the trade market, Dallas will have plenty of options this offseason should a deal present itself.

In the meantime, Jack Campbell has one more season to make his case for being an NHL goaltender for the Stars.



About The Author

Clare Austin

Clare Austin is a reluctant "stats nerd" living in Nashville, where she has never worn a cowboy hat or boots.