Analysis

Blackhawks 2016-17 Over/Under: Brian Campbell

By Mario Tirabassi
Jan 17, 2016; Tampa, FL, USA; Florida Panthers defenseman Brian Campbell (51) skates with the puck against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the first period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 17, 2016; Tampa, FL, USA; Florida Panthers defenseman Brian Campbell (51) skates with the puck against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the first period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
facebooktwitterreddit

As the regular season begins in just a couple of weeks, the Chicago Blackhawks are looking to improve on their early exit last season. Over the next few weeks, Blackhawk Up will give projections for the stats of each player heading into the season, based off the trend of past three seasons, career averages, and potential line-mate projections. 

Campbell Returns To Chicago For One More Run With Blackhawks

Remember in 2010 when the Chicago Blackhawks won their first Stanley Cup since 1961 and Patrick Kane scored the game-winning overtime goal? That was fun. Remember who got the assist on Kane’s goal? Brian Campbell. Guess who is back in town? Brian Campbell. Great, is he still good? Yeah.

Joy and rejoicing ensues.

More from Analysis

That’s pretty much, in a nutshell, the train of thought  that most Blackhawks fans had or still have when looking at the return of Campbell to the organization. From 2008-2011, Campbell was a key piece to the Blackhawks revival as a franchise and major player in the 2010 Stanley Cup run.

He has skated in 215 games for Chicago, tallying up 117 points (19 Goals, 98 Assists) and, for what it is worth, had a +51 rating (compared to -7 in his time with the Buffalo Sabres, and -2 in his time with the Florida Panthers).

Campbell came to the Blackhawks in 2008 as a solid, top-four defender who plays a 200-foot game, can move the puck well and control a power-play when necessary. Campbell now comes to the Blackhawks in 2016 as a solid, top-four defender who plays a 200-foot game, can move the puck well and control a power-play when necessary, but is now 37-years old.

He is returning to Chicago on a one-year, $1.5 million ‘hometown’ deal and joins a defensive core that desperately needed a player like Campbell. The Blackhawks had three solid defenders last year and then it was a drastic drop-off to the next three consistent defenders. Now adding Campbell, minutes can be lifted from Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, and Niklas Hjalmarsson which can do wonders for keeping those players healthy throughout the season. It also allows for Trevor van Riemsdyk and Michal Kempny to play the majority, if not all of their NHL minutes in 2016-17, as the third defensive pairing for Chicago. Which is a good thing for everyone.

The biggest knock against Campbell coming into this season is his age. 37-years old is a high number, but look at his last three seasons in the NHL and one will see that he has not missed a game, and logs 20+ minutes per game.

Chicago Blackhawks 2016-17 Over/Under For Niklas Hjalmarsson

Not many players above 35 can play 20+ minutes per game and not miss a game all year. Campbell also didn’t miss a game in the strike-shortened 2013 season and skated in a 82 games in 2011-12. So the last time he missed a game, he played for the Blackhawks. His longevity should not be a concern in his one season back with the Blackhawks.

Factors

Last Three Seasons (with Florida Panthers):

  • 2013-14: 82 GP -7g, 30a, 37Pts, -6, 26:57 TOI
  • 2014-15: 82 GP – 3g, 24a, 27Pts, +4, 23:13 TOI
  • 2015-16: 82 GP – 6g, 25a, 31Pts, +31, 22:17 TOI

Career Average:

  • 82 Game AVG: 6g, 33a, 39Pts, +4, 22:24 TOI

Potential Line-mates:

  • Brent Seabrook – Most Likely
  • Niklas Hjalmarsson – 50/50
  • Duncan Keith – Outside Shot

Projection: 5G, 24A, 29Pts

Campbell is more than likely not going to be seeing 20+ minutes of ice-time this season. Playing in a top-four role with Keith, Seabrook, and Hjalmarsson means that there won’t be too much to spare when ice-time gets distributed evenly with the likes of van Riemsdyk, Kempny, Michal Rozsival, Viktor Svedberg, etc. staying in third-pairing roles. Campbell can run a power-play when needed and it more than likely will be a role he plays on the second power-play unit.

More from Blackhawk Up

Writer Prediction: Slightly Over

He doesn’t have the most outstanding shot, but it’s never been his bread-winner. Campbell moves the puck well in all three zones and frequently makes offensive zone entries on his own. That in and of itself is going to make the Blackhawks offense more effective in 2016-17 as Chicago ranked 25th in the NHL in offensive zone entries by defenders.

Campbell has been a big part of the emergence of the Florida Panthers over the last handful of years. His work, hopefully, will translate to the Blackhawks and give them an edge on defense going into 2016-17.

If Campbell can continue to be the player he has been over the last few years, Chicago will undoubtedly improve from last season’s early exit in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Therefore, the production prediction for Brian Campbell is 29 points for the 2016-17 season.

facebooktwitterreddit