Maple Leafs News & Rumors: Campbell, Kallgren, Dahlstrom & Clifford

In this edition of Toronto Maple Leafs’ News & Rumors, I’ll first take a look at some breaking news. Starting goalie Jack Campbell is out for at least two weeks with a rib injury and Erik Kallgren has been called up to replace him. 

Related: Tkachuk Shows His Ignorance Discussing Maple Leafs’ Campbell Injury

Second, I’ll take a look at two depth players who have re-signed with the organization. Finally, I’ll comment upon the team’s recent habit of taking a lead early in the game, losing that lead, and finally coming back to win the game.

Item One: Jack Campbell Out with Rib Injury 

In breaking news this morning, the Maple Leafs’ reported that starting goalie Jack Campbell would be out of the lineup because of a rib injury. The team announced that he would miss at least two weeks. 

Campbell’s injury announcement came as a surprise. He’d played the entire game against the Seattle Kraken two days ago; and, although he didn’t look as sharp during that game as he had earlier in the season, in truth, that isn’t news. It’s been quite a few games since he’s looked comfortable in the net.

Related: Panthers’ Start to Season Among Best in NHL History

Has he been having a nagging injury for a while now? If so, that might explain some drop in his play. Campbell’s played 40 games this season with a 24-9-4 record, a goals-against-average of 2.65, and a save percentage of .914.

Item Two: Erik Kallgren Called Up to Replace Campbell

The Maple Leafs also announced 25-year-old Erik Kallgren would be called up as an emergency replacement from the Toronto Marlies. Kallgren carries with him an AHL record of 15-8-1, with a goals-against-average of 3.02, and a save percentage of .904. 

Erik Kallgren Toronto Marlies
Erik Kallgren, Toronto Marlies (Jenae Anderson / The Hockey Writers)

The word I’ve had is that Kallgren has played really well in the AHL. He was a seventh-round (183rd overall) draft choice of the Arizona Coyotes in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. 

Item Three: Carl Dahlstrom Re-Signs with the Maple Leafs’ Organization

Depth defenseman Carl Dahlstrom has been signed a one-year, two-way contract extension with the Maple Leafs. Dahlstrom’s spent the season playing with the Marlies except for a single game that he played with the big team this season. He has 13 assists in 36 games with the Marlies this season.

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The 27-year-old Dahlstrom’s one-year contract extension calls for him to be paid the league minimum of $750,000 at the NHL level.

Item Four: Veteran Winger Kyle Clifford Signs a Two-Year Contract Extension

There were rumors that Kyle Clifford would be retiring to move into coaching; however, that seems to be either ill-founded or put on hold for a while. On Wednesday, the organization announced that Clifford had finalized a two-year contract extension. In 12 games with the St. Louis Blues and the Maple Leafs this season, he’s averaged 8:33 of TOI and registered three assists. 

The 31-year-old Clifford’s new contract calls for him to receive an average of $762,500 per season. He might be a welcome addition during the playoffs.

What’s Next for the Maple Leafs?

Recently, like most other fans, I’ve been watching this Maple Leafs’ team play games that they seem to be able to dominate, but then allow their opponents to come back during the second period. One way or another, the Blue and White seem to lose the lead. It makes me ask myself the question: “Is this team too confident?”

Mitch Marner Toronto Maple Leafs
Mitch Marner, Toronto Maple Leafs (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

It’s good in one way that the Maple Leafs can coming from behind to win after losing a lead. However, I’m honestly unsure if it’s a good or a bad thing that they keep doing it. On one hand, it shows their confidence, which helps them never feel they’re never out of a game. However, on the other hand, does it contribute to sloppy play?

In what seemed to be a curious comment, after the most recent Seattle Kraken victory, Mitch Marner exuded a great deal of confidence in the team’s ability to play this way. But, is this a wise course of action? 

After the game, Marner was quoted as saying that the team never feels they’re “down and out.”

Related: Mitch Marner Running Out of Leash with Maple Leaf Fans

In fact, as Marner added, the level of the “belief in our team, belief in our locker room and on the bench … We just get over it and make sure we’re ready for the next shift or next opportunity.”

Such confidence is good, but wouldn’t it seem better to get ahead and stay ahead? Who’s to say with this group?