All-Star draft reminds Blackhawks how much they miss Brian Campbell
BY ADAM L. JAHNS firstname.lastname@example.org January 26, 2012 10:38PM
Brian Campbell is giving the Panthers all the advantages he used to give the Hawks. | Eliot J. Schechter~Getty Images
Captain: D Zdeno Chara, Boston
Alternate: RW Joffrey Lupul, Toronto
1 C Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit
3 G Tim Thomas, Boston
5 C Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh
7 RW Marian Hossa, BLACKHAWKS
9 D Kimmo Timonen, Philadelphia
11 LW Corey Perry, Anaheim
13 G Carey Price, Montreal
15 RW Phil Kessel, Toronto
17 D Ryan Suter, Nashville
19 G Jimmy Howard, Detroit
21 D Brian Campbell, Florida
23 RW Patrick Kane, BLACKHAWKS
25 D Dion Phaneuf, Toronto
27 LW Jarome Iginla, Calgary
29 D Dennis Wideman, Washington
31 RW Marian Gaborik, NY Rangers
33 C Jordan Eberle, Edmonton
35 C Tyler Seguin, Boston
37 LW Jamie Benn, Dallas
Captain: RW Daniel Alfredsson, Ottawa
Alternate: G Henrik Lundqvist, NY Rangers
2 D Erik Karlsson, Ottawa
4 C Jason Spezza, Ottawa
6 G Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles
8 RW Claude Giroux, Philadelphia
10 D Kris Letang, Pittsburgh
12 LW Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay
14 G Brian Elliott, St. Louis
16 D Shea Weber, Nashville
18 LW Daniel Sedin, Vancouver
20 D Dan Girardi, NY Rangers
22 D Keith Yandle, Phoenix
24 LW Milan Michalek, Ottawa
26 C Henrik Sedin, Vancouver
28 LW James Neal, Pittsburgh
30 D Alex Edler, Vancouver
32 C John Tavares, NY Islanders
34 LW Scott Hartnell, Philadelphia
36 RW Jason Pominville, Buffalo
38 C Logan Couture, San Jose
Updated: February 28, 2012 8:23AM
OTTAWA, Ontario — Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara chose Florida Panthers defenseman Brian Campbell with the 21st pick in the NHL’s All-Star Game fantasy draft Thursday. Fittingly, Campbell will be on the same team with Blackhawks All-Stars Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa.
It’s a great time to wonder what the Hawks would still be like if they had Campbell. There’s no question they miss him.
‘‘Sometimes you don’t really think how big of a loss he really is,’’ said Kane, who was selected right after Campbell. ‘‘He’s a great puck-moving defenseman who can get you the puck in a lot of good areas to get shots off or get speed coming up the ice. You see his stats this year — he has a lot of assists. He’s helping that team tremendously.’’
Hawks general manager Stan Bowman has made it known he’s looking for a proven defenseman who can play on the second pairing. As good as Nick Leddy has been in filling Campbell’s shoes, the Hawks have been relying too much on the 20-year-old, and help is needed.
The Hawks didn’t want to get rid of Campbell, but his salary-cap hit of more than $7 million was tough to bear. Campbell accepted a trade to Dale Tallon’s Panthers for forward Rostislav Olesz, who now plays in Rockford.
Bowman wanted more flexibility and a more experienced lineup. With money to spend, he signed forwards Michael Frolik (three years, $7 million), Andrew Brunette (one year, $2 million), Jamal Mayers (one year, $550,000) and Daniel Carcillo (one year, $775,000); and defensemen Steve Montador (four years, $11 million), Sean O’Donnell ($850,000) and Sami Lepisto (one year, $750,000).
Frolik was just a healthy scratch for the first time this season. Brunette has settled into a bottom-six role but has been productive. Carcillo had been suspended and is now out with a torn anterior cruciate ligament. Mayers has been a stalwart on the fourth line.
Montador has fared well on the power play and as the Hawks’ No. 5 defenseman, while O’Donnell has been a healthy scratch 15 times but is playing better as Montador’s partner. Lepisto only has played in 11 games.
Campbell, on the other hand, is doing exactly what he did with the Hawks, and it’s paying off for the Panthers, who are in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff race. Campbell is in the Norris Trophy discussion with three goals and 35 points, second most among defensemen at the All-Star break.
“For myself, personally, it was the best decision [accepting the trade],’’ Campbell said. ‘‘I’ve been able to do what I feel is the reason why I’m playing in this league a little bit more now than maybe I was before. It’s just good getting these chances. I loved my time in Chicago. The organization was great, and I learned a ton from [coach] Joel [Quenneville] with how to play the game. But now, it’s the past.’’
With salary-cap room at his disposal, it’s still up to Bowman to make up for his loss.