Saturday, September 20, 2008
Season Preview: Brian Campbell
Other than Toews, arguably no player is going to have more pressure on them from the fans (and probably the front office) than Campbell. We should all know the deal by now, coming into the summer Campbell was one of the biggest names becoming an UFA. To the shock of many, he signed with these Chicago Blackhawks. Why did he do this? Probably had something with the $7.1 Million Tallon decided to hand him for the next 8 years. Having been in Chicago for the Hull/Mikita game with the Sharks also probably gave him a great glimpse of how great it can be to be cheered on by all of us amazing fans. There were reports that other teams offered him more but he came here.
Campbell and Keith will give our D two players with great speed, though if I remember the All-Star game correctly Keith smoked Campbell in a race. Campbell will take over for Jason Williams as the main "quarterback" for the Hawks PP. In the '07-'08 Season Campbell was on the ice for 47 goals with the other team a man down. He knows how to handle the puck and create opportunities. He isn't much a huge physical force on the D but seems to know how to pick his spots and can lay a big hit on occasion.
One point to watch is how Campbell will respond to the pressure a big contract like this can bring. For the kind of money he's getting some will feel he's not a success if he doesn't bring home the Norris trophy - but that's just not going to happen.
Campbell won't score many goals (highest in a season is 12) but will generate a lot of assists (160 of his 195 points come from the A). This will be key on the Power Play since that has been a notorious weak point on this team. At only 29 Campbell will probably be looked at as a leader on the team and may even get chances to wear the A depending on how that will work this year. Campbell will be a very solid addition to the already strong D the Hawks have and can provide some space for Keith and Seabrook to continue to improve without having too much asked of them too early.
Also look for him to make the All-Star team again this year and never ever throw a baseball again in his life.