Veteran defenseman Brian Campbell doesn’t know what his plans are for next season, but it sounds like the options are a return to the Blackhawks or retirement from the NHL. Campbell said he doesn’t “want to go anywhere” if he chooses to return for an 18th season.
Set to turn 38 years old in May, Campbell will likely sit down with the Blackhawks soon to discuss his future as a hockey player. It’s unclear whether both sides plan on having him back, but based on his comments Saturday, it sounds like Campbell will hang up the skates if he doesn’t agree to a new deal with Chicago.
Campbell now lives in the Chicago area with his family, so it makes sense that he’d prefer not to uproot them at this point in his career. He signed a discounted one-year deal as a free agent last summer to return to the Blackhawks after five years with the Panthers, and at the time he was clearly excited to be back. Back in October, the defenseman who was born in Strathroy, Ontario, called Chicago his hometown.
So now the question is whether the Blackhawks want Campbell back, and the price at which he’d agreed to return. For 2016-17, he made a $2.25 million including a games played bonus. Would he be willing to take another discount and come back at a cheap price to fill out depth?
The Blackhawks already re-signed Michal Rozsival to a one-year deal partially for that purpose (also likely for expansion draft reasons). Maybe Campbell would be willing to come back for around or less than $1 million, which would be hard to turn down from the Blackhawks’ perspective.