Brian Campbell Could Return To the Chicago Blackhawks
With the start of NHL free agency today, reports and rumors have been swirling everywhere on who is going where. In one of the craziest offseasons for the Chicago Blackhawks in recent years, there are several reports stating defenseman Brian Campbell will be returning to the Blackhawks on a one-year deal. Campbell himself has stated “I will take a discount to play in Chicago,” as long as the Blackhawks don’t really lowball him.
Campbell’s potential return to the Blackhawks makes sense for both parties. It makes sense for Campbell because he wants one last run at a Stanley Cup, and his only previous Cup came with Chicago. He knows this core and believes in its abilities.
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Also, Campbell has already made his money; his last deal was for $57,143,000. The deal was given to Campbell by the Blackhawks before they traded him to Florida in 2011. He also makes his offseason home in Chicago’s western suburbs, so he really likes the Chicagoland area.
In makes sense for Blackhawks in terms of need, as the Blackhawks need more proven NHL defensemen. Last season, the Blackhawks relied on their top three and a bunch of unknowns and has-beens.
Trevor van Riemsdyk emerged as the best of the bunch, and that is not saying much. Campbell is a top-four veteran defenseman who Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville knows and trusts. Campbell can bring the puck up with some speed and help contribute on offense.
Campbell would join the big three of Duncan Keith, Niklas Hjalmarsson and Brent Seabrook on defense, letting Michal Kempny adjust to the NHL on the final pairing with van Reimsdyk. He also gives the Blackhawks’ young prospects like Robin Norell and Gustav Forsling time to develop in Rockford.
My best guess would be that Campbell gets somewhere in the neighborhood of $3 million from the Blackhawks. Now by no means is Campbell to the Blackhawks a done deal. There has been reports that Florida Panthers and the Dallas Stars will also be vying for Campbell’s services.
Florida and Dallas will be fighting an uphill battle as Campbell recently started following the Chicago Blackhawks and Chicago Cubs on Twitter.
The Blackhawks may sign Campbell later today — the free agency period opens at 11 a.m. Central time — or they may lose out on him. It sounds most likely, however, that he comes back to Chicago.