|(Credit: Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)|
Texas Stars goaltender Jack Campbell has been assigned to the ECHL's Idaho Steelheads this afternoon. Campbell has not played in an AHL game since January 20th, a stretch of seven games, which is the longest time Campbell has been healthy and gone without playing time.
In a corresponding move, Henri Kiviaho was recalled from the Steelheads to back up Rynnas.
Campbell has struggled mightily this season. After playing in limited games last year due to injury but having good numbers, the first-round pick was expected to share the net with Jussi Rynnas in Texas. A disastrous November which saw Campbell go 0-4-2 with a 3.44 GAA and .903 SV% put him firmly in the backup role. Campbell owns a 3-10-4 record overall, a 0.890 SV% and 3.36 GAA.
The assignment is likely a short-term move to get Campbell playing time. Idaho plays three games in four days this weekend, and you'd expect Campbell to get at least two of those games, if not all three. Texas will face Iowa this weekend back-to-back and either Rynnas will get both starts or Kiviaho will make his first AHL start in Des Moines.
I spoke with Texas Stars GM Scott White later in the afternoon about the transaction. He was frank in that Campbell just hasn't played a lot of hockey between his injury and his down year this year. Idaho has a busy schedule coming up until the end of February, and White expects Campbell to spend "a good two weeks" in the ECHL.
Campbell took the assignment well, according to White, who added "he just wants to play." Campbell looked at NHL goalies who had early success in the AHL and then had to spend some time in the ECHL and realized he might benefit from the same.
"He's got to win games, make the big saves and stop pucks," summarized White, simply.
Dallas Stars assistant goalie coach Andy Moog is working out his schedule to head out to Boise and California to observe Campbell's starts.