Fansided
Blackhawks News

Chicago Blackhawks’ Brian Campbell Celebrates His 38th Birthday

hockeyhousewife
Dec 11, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brian Campbell (51) with the puck during the first period against the Dallas Stars at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 11, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brian Campbell (51) with the puck during the first period against the Dallas Stars at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports /
facebooktwitterreddit

It remains to be seen whether Brian Campbell will be with the Chicago Blackhawks next year.  Nonetheless, the veteran defenseman turns 38 years old today.

Brian Campbell was an integral part of the 2010 Stanley Cup run for the Chicago Blackhawks.  But that was a long time ago.  Since then, he was traded away for salary cap reasons, and spent five successful years with the Florida Panthers.  He returned to the Blackhawks for the 2016-17 season.  Campbell took a hometown discount to come back to Chicago, a town that he and his wife consider home.

Campbell’s return to the Chicago Blackhawks didn’t exactly go according to plan.  He was supposed to bolster the blue line, and take some much-needed pressure off the top three defensemen, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook and Niklas Hjalmarsson.  It was thought Campbell would be able to jump right into that No. 4 spot, and away the ’Hawks would go, with great defense once again.

Well, it didn’t exactly happen that way.  Campbell struggled on the second pairing, and eventually he and the coaching staff became resigned to the fact that he really belonged on the third pairing.  Soupy has simply lost a step, and can’t keep up with the stiffer competition on the higher pairings.

Closing in on 38 years old can do that to you.  Let’s face it; in the hockey world, that’s pretty old.  Campbell now joins teammates Marian Hossa and Michal Rozsival, who have both also been around for 38 years.  For a team that needs to get younger, having three players in their late 30s isn’t exactly ideal.

More from Blackhawk Up

The good news is that Campbell provided a relatively solid third-pairing presence, even if this was less than what was expected on him.  He ended the regular season with five goals and 12 assists, for 17 points.  Fellow staff contributor Jeffrey Franklin discusses how the ’Hawks were hoping for a little more offensive production from Campbell here.  But his plus-12 rating and his 18:29 average time on the ice provided a steady presence on the third pairing.

I think the Chicago Blackhawks and Campbell will be able to agree on another one-year contract that will be beneficial to both parties.  The ’Hawks are definitely strapped in regard to cap constraints, and Campbell would be a cheap option and a steady veteran presence.

Just don’t expect more of him than what he can give.  He would be like Rozsival has been for the ’Hawks over the last few years.  But I think we can all agree that Soupy still has much more of an upside than Rozy.

Campbell has stressed that he really wants to continue with Chicago.  If he and the ’Hawks can’t make a deal work, he will probably call it quits.  Another option that has been brought up is that he could go into broadcasting.  He even experimented with being behind the camera in his recent “Soup and a Sandwich” episodes.

Next: Chicago Steel Great Alternative To Chicago Blackhawks

Now I don’t know about you, but all five of these episodes seem stilted and awkward.  I’m not sure what they were going for here.  I guess I would have to say my favorite is Episode 3, where co-host Artemi Panarin steals the show and makes Campbell mad.  You can view it below.

Well, I’m sure former Blackhawk turned broadcaster Jamal Mayers could perhaps give Campbell some pointers.  But for now, it might not be a bad idea for him to keep his day job.  Ah, well.  Happy birthday, Soupy!

facebooktwitterreddit