After a five-year stint with the Florida Panthers, 37-year-old defensemen Brian Campbell, returns to the Windy City. The 5’10’’ blueliner signed a one-year contract worth $2 million today. Campbell will hit $2 million of Chicago’s cap.
The former Panther played in 82 games last season, scoring six goals and 31 points. In what was arguably one of his best seasons with the Panthers, Campbell had a +31 rating: the highest ever in his career.
In his last season with the Blackhawks, the 2010-2011 Stanley Cup winning season, Brian Campbell played in 65 games, scoring five goals and 27 points, with a +28 rating. In his career, Brian Campbell has played in over 1,100 games, scoring 82 goals with 487 points, and has a +51 rating.
According to Stan Bowman, Blackhawks Senior Vice President and General Manager, Campbell was the target for the Hawks this free agency.
“This was our priority, clearly. I’m not going to say we won’t sign anyone else, but our main focus was to sign Brian,” Bowman said in a press conference after signing Campbell.
In addition to signing Brian Campbell, the Blackhawks re-signed defenseman Michal Rozsival to a one-year contract worth $600,000. Rozsival will hit $600,000 of Chicago’s cap. Rozsival has spent the last five seasons with the team. Last season he played in 51 games and scored once and had 13 points with a +3 rating.
Snapping up two veterans, cup winning defensemen early in the free agency supports Bowman’s theory that you can never have too many defensemen.
“I think you can never have too many defensemen. I don’t want to go into a year with just seven defensemen…Everyone [each defenseman] is going to get their opportunity.”