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Blackhawks’ Campoli had excuse: Right knee was hurt

Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM



With physicals and tests ongoing, the Blackhawks weren’t ready to announce any surprise injuries that ailed them when they met the ­media two days after being eliminated by the Vancouver Canucks in a wild seven-game series.

But that changed Wednesday.

The team announced that defenseman Chris Campoli, a trade-deadline acquisition who improved the Hawks’ blue line, underwent surgery Tuesday on his right knee to repair a torn meniscus.

“The procedure went very well, and he will gradually return to normal offseason workouts,” team physician Michael Terry said. “I anticipate a full recovery in approximately two months.”

While not the prototypical penalty-killing defenseman the Hawks said they were looking for, Campoli fit right into their system after being acquired from the Ottawa Senators. He found instant chemistry with Brian Campbell and later played with others. His knack for gritty play benefited the Hawks.

Campoli committed the turnover that led directly to Alex Burrows’ game-winning goal in overtime of Game 7. But the 26-year-old admirably took responsibility for his gaffe after the game and ­apparently was toughing it out on a bad knee in the series.

Campoli had a goal, seven points and plus-3 rating in 19 regular-season games for the Hawks. He recorded an assist and plus-3 rating in the playoffs.

General manager Stan Bowman has made it clear since the acquisition that he believes Campoli could be more than a temporary fix. Campoli made $1.4 million last season and is a restricted free agent.

Plus, Campoli would love to stay in Chicago.

“I yelled at a reporter for stepping on the logo [in the locker room],” Campoli said during the playoffs. “So I think I’m officially a Blackhawk after that. I feel totally part of this team — right from Day 1. They’ve welcomed me with open arms.”



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