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Are Red Wings Planning to Trade a Goalie?

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jack campbell, oilers

What’s true about NHL goaltending is that two goalies can be too many and sometimes five is not enough. The Detroit Red Wings have settled on four for the 2024-25 season.

Shortly after signing Cam Talbot, the Red Wings announced they had signed Port Huron, Michigan native Jack Campbell to a one-year, one-way contract for $775,000. He has a career 2.76 goals-against average and .909 save percentage in 176 NHL games. However, he played most of last season in the American Hockey League with the Bakersfield Condors (33 games, 2.63 GAA and .918 save percentage).

The Red Wings now have Talbot, Campbell, Ville Husso and Alex Lyon on one-way contracts. They can certainly hold a competition for NHL spots in the preseason.  GM Steve Yzerman said after the season that he would try to upgrade his goaltending if an opportunity presented itself.

Need For Better Goaltending

Husso, Lyon and James Reimer all had good moments for Detroit last season, but the Red Wings’ goaltending numbers were below average for the season.

The Campbell acquisition could also mean the Red Wings will be looking to move a goalie in a trade. Could they move Husso’s $4.75 million cap hit? Probably not without retaining some of the salary.

Talbot, 36, is coming off the best season of the four. He was 27-20-6 with a 2.50 goals-against average and .913 save percentage for the Los Angeles Kings.

Campbell, as a Michigan native, would be a perfect fit to play in Grand Rapids. The Griffins enjoy having Michigan players for marketing purposes. He’s known as a high character player, always a good teammate. But his play has been inconsistent at the NHL level.

In the summer of 2022, Campbell was given a five-year, $25 million contract with Edmonton Oilers. They bought him out this summer after two poor seasons. They will have $10.5 million of dead cap space over the next six seasons as a result of the buyout.