Off-season departures: Colin Blackwell’s scoring drought, Jack Campbell’s down month
Photo credit:Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports
By Joseph Zita20 days ago
The NHL season is almost nearing the end and with another month coming and going, it’s time to check in on some former Maple Leafs that left in the off-season and see how they’re doing with their new teams.
From Jack Campbell to Colin Blackwell and others, I take a look at six former Maple Leafs and talk about their past month with their new teams and their season as a whole.
1. Jack Campbell – EDM – 31 years old – G
February 2023 stats: 6 GP – 2-0-3 – 4.06 GAA – .871 SV% – 0 SO
2022-23 stats: 31 GP – 17-8-4 – 3.48 GAA – .884 SV% – 0 SO
Contract: 5 years x $5M
It’s truly been an up-and-down season for the 31-year-old netminder in Edmonton. However, in January, Jack Campbell played his best hockey for his new team. He went 7-1-0 in nine games and posted great numbers at it too. A 2.27 GAA and a .913 SV% were by far his best numbers in any month this season and helped secure his spot as the team’s starter.
But when the calendar flipped to February and the team came back after the all-star break, Campbell didn’t put up similar numbers and his month of February was poor and it hasn’t been helpful to his season totals.
He played in six games, posting a record of 2-0-3 and added a brutal 4.06 GAA and an .871 SV% to his name too.
Despite having terrible numbers this season, he does have 17 wins to his name and has a respectable record of 17-8-4. I guess that’ll happen when you play for the Edmonton Oilers and Connor McDavid is having the best season of his career, but come playoff time, the Oilers are going to need Campbell to be playing his best or else it’s going to be Stuart Skinner’s crease, and we already saw that happen once this season already.
2. Ilya Mikheyev – VAN – 28 years old – LW/RW
February 2023 stats: 0 GP – 0 G – 0 A – 0 PTS – 0:00 TOI
2022-23 stats: 46 GP – 13 G – 15 A – 28 PTS – 16:55 TOI
Contract: 4 years x $4.75M
Ilya Mikheyev didn’t play in the month of February and is out for the remainder of the regular season due to ACL surgery. It was announced at the end of January that he would be out for the season and will be ready by next season’s training camp.
3. Petr Mrazek – CHI – 30 years old – G
February 2023 stats: 7 GP – 3-3-1 -3.21 GAA – .905 SV% – 0 SO
2022-23 stats: 28 GP – 8-16-2 – 3.82 GAA – .890 SV% – 0 SO
Contract: 2 years x $3.8M
I honestly thought we were going to see Petr Mrazek play the best game of his entire career when he suited up to start against the Maple Leafs in their game a couple of weeks ago. However, in reality, it was the opposite and Toronto put five pucks past him in a 5-2 Leafs win.
However, outside of that game, Mrazek actually had a decent month considering how his entire season has gone thus far with his new team in Chicago.
He played in seven contests and actually posted a pretty good record despite the circumstances in Chicago. He went 3-3-1 while putting up a 3.21 GAA and a .905 SV%.
The month of February has slowly improved his season totals to a 3.82 GAA, a .890 SV% and a record of 8-16-2, which is ugly, I won’t lie to you there. However, the Blackhawks have one man on their mind heading into the off-season and his name is Connor Bedard, so they could care less about their record right now if we’re being honest.
4. Ilya Lyubushkin – BUF – 28 years old – RD
February 2023 stats: 9 GP – 1 G – 1 A – 2 PTS – 15:10 TOI
2022-23 stats: 44 GP – 1 G – 9 A – 10 PTS – 14:31 TOI
Contract: 2 years x $2.75M
It was a slow start to the season for the Russian defender, but he has been putting up the points offensively slowly, but surely lately.
In January, Lyubushkin had his best month of the season offensively as he registered six assists. Last month, in February, he added his first goal of the season – which was a short-handed beauty in overtime against the Tampa Bay Lightning – and an assist for two points to improve his season totals to one goal, nine assists for 10 points in 44 games.
He really isn’t known as somebody who is going to put up the points and rather is someone who is more defensive-minded that also hits and blocks a ton. So seeing him having this offensive outburst in year one of his two-year deal with this young Sabres team is great to see for the former Maple Leaf, that’s for sure.
5. Colin Blackwell – CHI – 29 years old – C/RW
February 2023 stats: 11 GP – 1 G – 1 A – 2 PTS – 11:45 TOI
2022-23 stats: 53 GP – 2 G – 8 A – 10 PTS – 11:48 TOI
Contract: 2 years x $1.2M
It truly hasn’t been the season Colin Blackwell was hoping for when he signed his two-year deal with the Chicago Blackhawks in the off-season.
It was yet another month where he barely found his name on the scoresheet and with the trade deadline this week, could we maybe see a trade that sends him somewhere else? I doubt it, given he has another year on his deal and the fact Chicago needs players to play for them next season, but you never know.
In 11 games this past month, he was only able to register two points – one goal and one assist – while averaging just under 12 minutes a night. He did play his former team – the Maple Leafs – twice in February, and surprisingly, he didn’t find the scoresheet against them so luckily there wasn’t a Blackwell revenge game.
With his two points last month, Blackwell has now improved his season totals to two goals and eight assists for 10 points in 53 games. That current point total is tied for the lowest of his career (10 points in 27 games with Nashville in the 2019-20 season).
6. Ondrej Kase – CAR – 27 years old – RW
February 2023 stats: 0 GP – 0 G – 0 A – 0 PTS – 0:00 TOI
2022-23 stats: 1 GP – 0 G – 0 A – 0 PTS – 11:02 TOI
Contract: 1 year x $1.5M
Just like Mikheyev, Ondrej Kase didn’t play in the month of February. He’s only been able to suit up for one game this season due to a concussion he sustained in the first game of the 2022-23 regular season.
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