Late last night, the Toronto Maple Leafs acquired Jack Campbell and Kyle Clifford, with Trevor Moore, a 2020 third round pick as well as a 2021 conditional third round pick heading back to LA.
This trade comes on the heels of Michael Hutchinson’s less than stellar last two games, while filling in for Frederik Andersen. Andersen left the Monday night battle against the Florida Panthers during the first intermission, following two severe collisions, and is listed as day to day with a neck injury. Andersen did not travel with the team, who faced the New York Ranger’s last night. Hutchinson has had his fair share of troubles this season. Under Mike Babcock at the beginning of the season, Hutchinson started seven games. In those games, he gave up at least four goals and in five of the games, Hutchinson gave up five or more goals. However, he appeared to be turning over a new leaf.
Going into last night, Hutchinson had won each of his last four starts, including a shut-out against the New York Islanders. He struggled in relief against the Panthers, though, which was a game the Leafs ended up losing 5-3 after surrendering a two-goal lead in the third. After an unsuccessful attempt in yet another game last night, where Hutchinson gave up two goals in six seconds and the game winner was a weak shot that slid five-hole, it was clear a change needed to be made. At around 10:55pm, the trade was announced.
Jack Campbell has been described as a butterfly-style goalie with quick reflexes and good lateral movement. A former first round draft pick of the Dallas Stars, Campbell had an excellent 2018-19 campaign, posting a .928 save percentage in 31 games for the Kings. This season, Campbell has seen his numbers drop, with a .900 on the season. Though there is speculation about whether he can return to the goalie he was in 2018-19, so far in his career, Campbell has been fairly consistent. It is reasonable to believe that he has had a slightly off year, which has not been helped by playing for a struggling LA Kings team. It is also important to note that, as Chris Johnston reported, Campbell is signed for two years following this year at $1.65 million, and can fill the requirement to expose a goalie for the Seattle expansion draft.
Jack Campbell is signed for two years beyond this one at $1.65M and can fill the #leafs requirement to expose a goaltender in the June 2021 Seattle expansion draft.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) February 6, 2020
The other acquisition in the deal was forward Kyle Clifford, who is on the last year of a five-year deal which had an annual cap hit of $1.6 million. The Kings retained 50% of his salary in the transaction. While Clifford brings so-called “grit” to the team, he is not a liability otherwise.
I see you Kyle Clifford 👀 pic.twitter.com/uEN8bWb6qx
— Kyle Cushman (@Kyle_Cush) February 6, 2020
Trevor Moore is a token to the Leafs development program. He signed with the club as an undrafted 21-year-old, and in a short period of time rose from an AHL fourth-liner, to an AHL All-Star to a regular in the NHL lineup. However, when Moore was injured, it became clear that other ex-Marlies, particularly Pierre Engvall, could slot into his position and make an impact. Due to that and the fact that said players could fill the gap at centre with Kerfoot playing the wing, Moore became expendable.
The conditions on the 2021 pick are as follows. The third becomes a second if either Clifford re-signs with the Leafs or if Campbell wins six regular season games and the Leafs qualify for the playoffs.
While Campbell is clearly not a long-term solution if Andersen is out for a substantial period of time, hopefully he can be an effective “band-aid” and eventually, an effective backup who can take part of the load off of Andersen’s shoulders.