For an athlete, getting traded always presents a number of challenges. You have to pack up and relocate to a new city, usually on short notice and sometimes on the other side of the country. Like everything else, though, it’s a process that has been made even harder by the coronavirus pandemic.Jack Campbell was traded from the Los Angeles Kings to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Feb. 5, a few weeks before the deadline. Barely a month later, he was on his way back to L.A. after the NHL season was put on hold indefinitely. Despite a whirlwind first few weeks in Toronto, he’s loved being a part of his new team so far. With the NHL reportedly edging closer to announcing a return date, the 28-year-old is growing increasingly eager to lace up the skates and pile on the pads once again. “I can’t stop smiling at the thought of, when it’s the right time for everybody to come back, how exciting it’ll be to get in the net and stop some pucks,” he said.One thing is for sure: No matter how much longer it is before hockey returns, Jack Campbell will keep the same positivity that he always has. “I’ll always be grateful for L.A. and the opportunities they gave me to establish myself in the league,” he told reporters in a conference call Thursday, “but I mean, getting traded to Toronto, it’s the hockey mecca of the world. What a fantastic organization, top to bottom; the fans, the management and, number one, my teammates. I just really enjoyed getting to know everybody.””I think I packed a pair of gym shorts and one pair of pants for the road trip so had to do a little shopping but I’m just so excited to be here.” 😂Jack Campbell spoke to the media about how excited he is to be apart of the @MapleLeafs. pic.twitter.com/xCLnS4PUy9— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) February 6, 2020The sudden stop in the season has made things harder, of course, but he’s looking forward to being back with his new teammates as soon as possible.”[It’s a] little disappointing, we had some momentum going and I was starting to really get to know the boys and gel, but obviously there are bigger things going on right now,” he said. “I’m confident that when it resumes we’ll just keep putting our best foot forward. I’m just really enjoying my time as a Leaf.” He even acknowledged feeling a little bit of FOMO (fear of missing out) when he saw fellow Toronto goalie Frederik Andersen throwing alley-oops to Auston Matthews on Instagram. Andersen is staying with Matthews during the quarantine after being unable to return home to Denmark.”I love those guys,” he said. “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, they love spending time outside playing sports.”MORE: Andersen hoping to stay sharp in quarantine with Auston MatthewsCampbell, who went 3-2-1 in six starts for the Leafs, has been in quarantine at his L.A. apartment since the season was paused about six weeks ago. The netminder is known for his positive attitude — and it should be no surprise that he’s still trying to get better even without being able to get on the ice. “I just think for me it gave me a chance to work on some weaknesses I have in my game,” he said. “Obviously, it’s a pretty scary time for the world and the health of everybody is number one, but with that being said, it does give somebody like myself a chance to work on stuff. For me, it was my flexibility. I took the time over the last six weeks to really hammer home a bunch of stretching and I feel like, hopefully, I’ll come back an even better goalie.”
“It should remain the same,” he told Bickley and Marotta on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM about Ellington’s projected amount of touches. “He’s still a dynamic player every time he touches the ball.”The 5-foot-9, 199-pound Ellington averaged 16.75 carries per game last season, a number that includes a five-carry performance against Atlanta, a game he left early due to injury. Add the 3.8 passes he caught per game — a number Arians said was limited due to the running back’s lack of practice time — and you aren’t necessarily far off from the preseason prediction for touches.If not for the injuries, who knows what Ellington would have accomplished.The running back, now entering his third season, admitted to being frustrated last season, but added that, “getting back out here, feeling good, running good is kind of great to see.”The Cardinals surely feel the same way, and the fact that the organization went out and added a running back does not bother Ellington at all. In fact, he’s all for it.“Who doesn’t want help,” he asked. “It would be unrealistic to say that you could carry it by yourself. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling “Once you get a lot of guys that can kind of help out, we’ll always take all hands on deck.” – / 12 Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Top Stories The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo A disastrous season? No, but not nearly the campaign everyone expected from the former sixth-round pick. On the field for the first day of OTAs (organized team activities) Tuesday, Ellington proclaimed himself healthy and ready to go.“I’m not limited in anything,” he said. “I’m out here running, running around, feeling good.”None of Ellington’s injuries were the type that would keep him out long-term or inhibit him going forward. Once healed, he would essentially be the same player he was prior to getting hurt.Still, much of the conversation this offseason was centered around the Cardinals’ desire to add another running back, be it a bigger back for short-yardage siguations or perhaps a star, like the Minnesota Vikings’ Adrian Peterson, to potentially take over as the lead guy.The team did eventually add a running back, choosing David Johnson out of Northern Iowa in the third-round of the NFL Draft.Johnson sees himself as a running back who “can do it all,” and the Cardinals themselves have said he is a three-down back. On the surface, that would seem to point to Ellington’s role shrinking a bit, though Arians said that’s not the case. Comments Share TEMPE, Ariz. — Andre Ellington wasn’t supposed to be just a part of the Arizona Cardinals’ offense last season.He was supposed to be the offense, with head coach Bruce Arians at one time saying Ellington would receive 25 to 30 touches per game.Instead, the second-year pro battled various injuries throughout the season until a hip injury finally sidelined him for good in Week 13. The running back finished the season with 660 yards and three touchdowns on the ground along with another 395 yards and two scores in the air.