The Toronto Maple Leafs were without Frederik Andersen at practice today as he continues to be evaluated for the upper-body injury he suffered last night. The team announced after their 5-3 loss to the Florida Panthers that Andersen—who left the game after the first period—had passed his concussion tests, but obviously they need to take things cautiously with their franchise netminder. He is now listed as day-to-day with a neck injury, but won’t travel with the team to New York. That led to Luke Fox of Sportsnet examining several potential trade options that Toronto could look at to solidify their goaltending situation, including Jack Campbell of the Los Angeles Kings.
Fox reports that Maple Leafs’ GM Kyle Dubas has “kicked tires” on Campbell, who has played in 20 games for the Kings this season and carries a .900 save percentage. That number is not something to get very excited about, but it is important to remember that the Kings have struggled in almost every facet of the game this season. Campbell did post a .928 save percentage in 31 appearances during the 2018-19 campaign.
One potential hiccup however, is the increasing salary Campbell is going to get moving forward. Though he carries just a $675K cap hit this year and could fit into the Maple Leafs’ tight financial picture, a new two-year extension kicks in for 2020-21 that has an average annual value of $1.65MM. Toronto, thanks to some incredibly large contracts signed by their star forwards, may not be able to afford a backup with that kind of deal—especially if they have any thoughts of an Andersen extension after his contract expires in 2021.
Even if Andersen proves healthy enough to return to action quickly, the Maple Leafs still may have a backup issue as they try to stay afloat in the Atlantic Division playoff race. The team hasn’t been able to rely on backup Michael Hutchinson, as evidenced by his performance last night in relief. Hutchinson allowed three goals on 13 shots, lowering his season save percentage to .886, fourth-worst in the league among goaltenders who have at least ten appearances.