Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman had more in mind than just the next few months when deciding to bring in defenseman Chris Campoli. Like always, he considered the future.
“The one thing we all liked about Chris is that he’s not just a rental player,” Bowman said. “He’s a young guy . We have his rights beyond just this season. He fits in to the near term this season as well as next.”
The Hawks acquired Campoli, a restricted free agent after the season with a $1.4 million cap hit, and a conditional seventh-round pick in 2012 from the Ottawa Senators on Monday for forward Ryan Potulny and a conditional second-round selection in 2011. The picks are dependent on what the Senators “do with Potulny going forward,” Bowman said.
Campoli, who will wear No. 14, didn’t make it to Minnesota for the Hawks’ game Monday against the Wild as visa issues are worked out. But he’ll be the Hawks’ sixth defenseman with Jordan Hendry out for the rest of the season after tearing his left anterior cruciate ligament in the game Sunday.
He isn’t the prototypical penalty-killing defenseman — a niche player that didn’t really exist on the trade market, Bowman said — but Campoli said he can do the job.
A seven-year veteran eyed by Bowman and Co. for a while, Campoli prides himself on moving the puck — much like some of his new teammates — and that’s what attracted the Hawks the most.
“There’s so many positives in this situation for me,” Campoli said. “I’m a puck-moving, up-ice-often defenseman. Skating is a big part of my game. I know from playing against Chicago, they’re a team that is a puck-possession, aggressive, up-tempo style of team. I really think there’s a fit there.
“I’ve gotten more of an opportunity this year to play in that [penalty-killing] role in Ottawa than I have in the past. Speaking with Stan, he mentioned he saw me as a defenseman who can contribute in all situations. I know he expects me to come in and be able to help.”
Campoli had three goals, 14 points and a minus-3 rating in 58 games this season for the Senators.
He broke into the league in 2005-06 and had a career-high 34 points after being a seventh-round pick of the New York Islanders in 2004.