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Transcript: Jack Campbell Media Call - April 30, 2020

by Staff Writer MapleLeafs /

Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Jack Campbell spoke with the media via conference call earlier today.

Q (Paul Hendrick, Leafs Nation Network): Looking back to six weeks ago, the Leafs defensive corps was slowly getting back, Morgan Rielly was back for one game and Jake Muzzin was on the horizon. How did you see the team's chances with that group of three defence pairs?

JACK CAMPBELL: Obviously, it was super exciting seeing Morgan's first game back. It was my first chance to play with him and I just remember being in awe on the bench. We're pretty fortunate to have him on our team. As far as Jake, that guy is such a staple on any winning team so anytime he's out of the lineup it's a huge loss. I know he's getting healthy and just all of our [defence], I'm just really excited about having everyone healthy. It's a pretty dynamic and steady D-core back there. 

Q (Luke Fox, What's been the biggest positive or happy thing to come out of this for you?

JACK CAMPBELL: I just think for me it's given me a chance to work on some weaknesses I have in my game. Obviously, it's a pretty scary time for the world, the health for everyone is number one, but with that being said, it does give somebody like myself a chance to work on -- for me it was my flexibility. I took the time over the last six weeks to really hammer out a bunch of stretching and I feel like I'll come back an even better goalie.

Q (Luke Fox, What do you feel has been the greatest difference from your first half of the year in [Los Angeles] to the second half in Toronto?

JACK CAMPBELL: I've got to say; I'll always be grateful for LA and the opportunity they gave me to establish myself in the League and to help me. Bill Ranford and everything he did for me. Getting traded to Toronto, it's the hockey mecca of the world and what a fantastic organization -- top to bottom, the management, the fans and, number one, my teammates. I just really enjoyed getting to know everybody. A little disappointing, we had some momentum going and I was really starting to get to know the boys and gel, but obviously there are bigger things going on right now. I'm confident when this resumes we'll just keep putting our best foot forward. I'm really just enjoying my time as a Leaf. 

Q (Terry Koshan, Toronto Sun): I'm just curious how closely you're following what's coming out with the NHL and the possibility of going into phase two sometime towards the end of May and what your thoughts are on that. 

JACK CAMPBELL: Yeah, I'm not sure when we're going to start or whatnot, but whenever it starts I know for one, I'm super excited to get back and see everybody and get back to work and play the best game on earth. I'm pretty excited about the possibility of starting up soon. Obviously, we'll see what happens, but I think the hockey community will be really excited for sure.

Q (Terry Koshan, Toronto Sun): If you could give us an idea of where you are right now and what you're doing to keep yourself occupied when you're not working on hockey things. 

JACK CAMPBELL: I'm actually at my place in Los Angeles. I have another month on my rent here, so I've been just getting things ready to roll to move to Toronto, so it's been nice. I'm a big cook actually so it's been kind of nice to come back into my own place where I can cook instead of the hotel. That's been the big thing and how I've kept myself busy. The weather's been nice here so I can work out outside in my garage or whatnot. I feel really, really good about where I'm at physically and mentally right now.

Q (Josh Clipperton, The Canadian Press): I'm just wondering if the 'Road to 50' is still there?

JACK CAMPBELL: You know what it's taken a little pause because when this quarantine process started the mustache was a little, I guess, noticeable when I have to go get groceries and stuff in Toronto so I decided to let the beard go, but you can count on seeing 'Road to 50' as soon as play resumes. No question about it.  

Q (Josh Clipperton, The Canadian Press): Freddie [Andersen] is staying with Auston [Matthews], they're hooking up on cool alley-oops and stuff. Do you have a little bit of FOMO? 

JACK CAMPBELL: Oh man, of course. I love those guys. They're awesome. We've been texting once a week or so, just staying in the loop and it looks like they're having a good time. Those two guys are pretty similar because they love spending time outside, playing sports, and I'm pretty jealous of Auston's setup, I wish I had that here in LA. I'll definitely be getting some laughs in with them soon.

Q (Josh Clipperton, The Canadian Press): You obviously went through the whole draft process -- the interviews, the combine -- back in 2010. It looks like prospects are going to have to do Zoom interviews with teams, probably no combine, probably a virtual draft. What was the whole experience like for you and how different is it going for these guys to not have to go through all that face-to-face? 

JACK CAMPBELL: That's a good question. Personally I just enjoy face-to-face, no matter what scenario it is. It's just more real, I guess, but I mean, I'm not very comfortable on social media and Zoom and stuff, but some guys might prefer it. So it'll be interesting to see how it works, but you've got to just make the most of what we're given right now and that's really a unique process for the prospects in the organization, no question.

Q (Josh Clipperton, The Canadian Press): What was it like your family when you go up on the stage after your pick?

JACK CAMPBELL: It was awesome. My family, they're such big supporters and I'm so blessed to have them. My mom, dad, sister they were. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, I had a bunch of people there. I had my goalie coach there, Joe Exeter, and agent, of course. It was just a special time and a moment you'll never forget, no question.

Q (Josh Clipperton, The Canadian Press): Players in Sweden are allowed on the ice, at least some of them are getting on the ice. How much of an advantage is that going to be for those guys? ... How far ahead are these guys going to be and is there a feeling -- I don't know if you've talked to anybody -- about how it's kind of maybe a little bit unfair at this point?

JACK CAMPBELL: I haven't really looked into it at all. I didn't even realize that, to be honest, but, it kind of is what it is. I think we're all doing what we have to do to keep the community healthy and yourself healthy. So, if they're given the right to skate, of course, that would be awesome. I'm jealous, no question about that. I'm also confident that, the kind of survival mode, as soon as we get back out there -- I can't stop smiling at the thought of when this thing -- when it's the right time for everybody to come back how exciting it'll be to get into the net and stop some pucks. It kind of is what is. If they're able to skate, that's great for them, but I'm just excited about the possibility of resuming soon.

Q: (Luke Fox, I'm just curious how much contact you have with Steve Briere and if you could give some insight into his instructions to you and Freddie at such an unusual time?

JACK CAMPBELL: Great question. Stevie has been incredible during this process. Even before this whole thing started, I've really enjoyed working with him in the short time I've been a Leaf. He's kept on the same demeanor as when we were in-season, so he'll give us a call - at first it was really often, every other day or every couple of days - and Freddie, Stevie and I would have some video chats to have the comradery going again. The longer it's gone on, we've relaxed a little bit with that but he also sends some really good guidance on video, mental stuff, and as much as Freddie and I are students of the game, he's such a student of the game himself and he kind of makes it easy for us to just know what to focus on. Freddie and I both are very lucky to have Stevie. He's just a great person to work with each day and he's very organized and detailed. Everything we do has purpose and I feel like each time we talk I'm even closer to being ready to go.

Q: (Luke Fox, Would you talk daily, weekly, how often are you in communication?

JACK CAMPBELL: It just kind of depends. There's been weeks where I've talked to him personally four or five times. There are other weeks where it's been once or twice but no matter what happens, or however many times to talk during that week, he always has really valuable information. It just kind of depends what he's working on and what he wants to share with us.

Q: (Luke Fox, I know you mentioned stretching but is there any way to kind of mimic making saves? I saw a video of Bobrovsky catching tennis balls out of a tennis ball gun and I guess Freddie has Auston, but is there anything a goalie can do?

JACK CAMPBELL: Yeah, I saw Sergei's setup in Florida. It's pretty nice to have that luxury of doing that. There's definitely things, whether you're Sergei, Freddie or myself, I think that at this point in our careers we know what works for us and it's also foreign territory where you're not really sure what's happening and whatnot but you just know what you need to do to get your body ready to go and your mind ready. I think the things that I'm doing, I feel confident knowing that when we come back I'll be ready to play, just like Freddie is probably doing a little different stuff than I'm doing. It's all individual and that's what makes us unique, for sure. 

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