Editorials

Chicago Blackhawks: Brian Campbell And Nostalgia Danger

By Tim Lively
Oct 22, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Marcus Kruger (16) shoots the ball puck against Florida Panthers defenseman Brian Campbell (51) during the second period at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 22, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Marcus Kruger (16) shoots the ball puck against Florida Panthers defenseman Brian Campbell (51) during the second period at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports /
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Nov 14, 2015; St. Louis, MO, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Artem Anisimov (15) celebrates with defenseman Duncan Keith (2) and defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson (4) after scoring an empty net goal against the St. Louis Blues during the third period at Scottrade Center. The Blackhawks won 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 14, 2015; St. Louis, MO, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Artem Anisimov (15) celebrates with defenseman Duncan Keith (2) and defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson (4) after scoring an empty net goal against the St. Louis Blues during the third period at Scottrade Center. The Blackhawks won 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports /

So what does this mean for Brian Campbell in his Chicago return?

So does this mean Brain Campbell, the next 2010 Blackhawk to return to Chicago, is up for a disappointing Chi-Town resurrection? Not necessarily.

When it comes to Campbell, what is critical for Blackhawks’ brass, coaching staff, fanbase and especially Campbell himself to keep in mind is that this is not the same ‘Hawks team as it was in 2010.

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The point I’m trying to make here is, that like Versteeg and Ladd before him, one of the identified benefits touted about Campbell is that he “knows” the Blackhawks’ system. However, while Soupy isn’t walking into a wholly foreign franchise, it is important that there is an appreciation, both on Campbell’s and on the ‘Hawks’ parts, of the evolution the team has undergone since 2010.

In 2010, Campbell left a team that had historically broken the franchise’s 49-year Stanley Cup drought. It was a magical moment felt by all, but it was a magic that quickly faded into history as the ‘Hawks won the Stanley Cup twice more in the following years, and garnered a near-impossible expectation that they raise the Cup every season.

There’s no doubt the ‘Hawks were a disciplined team when Campbell last skated for them, but given their recent levels of success and the success they are expected to achieve on a yearly basis, suffice to say that discipline has grown beyond Spartan levels.

That being said, the young, near-novice linemates in Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook and Niklas Hjalmarsson that Soupy left in 2010 are now established, three-time Stanley Cup champion defensemen. If Campbell served as a guiding, veteran presence during his first tenure with the Blackhawks, that role is all but reversed.

So given the aforementioned changes the Blackhawks have undergone as a team since 2010, and if the fortunes of Versteeg and Ladd serve as any lesson, it would be a fallacy to assume Soupy will be able to simply throw on the ‘Hawks’ sweater again and pick up where he left off six years ago.

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So can Brian Campbell have a successful return? Absolutely. Just as long as it’s recognized by Campbell, the Blackhawks’ brass and the fanbase that reaching his full potential as a newly rechristened ‘Hawk will take time and above all else, open minds.

FOR THE DAGGER!

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