Posted by: Adventures in Pucking | January 2, 2012

Man of the Day 1/2: Brian Campbell

Brian Wesley Campbell

Born May 23, 1979 (age 32) in Strathroy, Ontario, Canada

Defenseman and alternate captain for the Florida Panthers

I recently got a 2012 Blackhawks calendar, and this guy (and the next MotD as well) are in there, oops! Ah, well. Brian played midget hockey in his hometown and the surrounding area before signing with the OHL’s Ottawa 67’s in 1995. In his time with them, he not only won the Red Tilson Trophy for most outstanding player, but he also won Defenseman of the Year and Most Gentlemanly Player as well as CHL Player of the Year. The Buffalo Sabres drafted him in 1997, and he began playing with them in the 1999-2000 season.

While he was in Buffalo, he was alternate captain in November 2007 and captain in December 2007 as the team had a rotating captaincy system. He also played in his first two All-Star games, the very first Winter Classic  and played for Jokerit in Sweden during the lost season. In February 2008, he was traded to the San Jose Sharks for Steve Bernier and a future draft pick. He went to the playoffs with the Sharks, but they were eliminated in the semis by the Dallas Stars. After that, he became a free agent and signed with the Chicago Blackhawks.

Good times, man. Good times.

Chicago signed him to an 8-year contract in July 2008 at a price of $7.1 million a year. He played every single game in the 2008-09 season as well as the next, and he scored two goals in the 17 games the Hawks played in the 2009 playoffs before they were bounced by the Detroit Red Wings (ugh!). Things were fine in the 2009-10 season till he was boarded by Alex Ovechkin in March 2010, and he broke his clavicle and a rib in the process. He was supposed to miss about 8 weeks, but he managed to make it back for Game 4 of their series against the Nashville Predators. And he has the distinct honor of being the lone assist on that sweet goal that Patrick Kane made to win the Cup for the Hawks!

But things were not meant to last in the Windy City, as he was traded to the Panthers for Rostislav Olesz. He’s done well so far, earning an A on his sweater and earning 3 goals and 28 assists on the season. At least what the Panthers got in the trade is working out for them…

Aww, former teammates (also a bit of foreshadowing for tomorrow).

– Krista

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