Brian Campbell retires from NHL, joins Blackhawks’ front office

The end of the Soup era is here.

Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brian Campbell announced his retirement from the NHL after 17 seasons in the league on Monday. He will now join the team’s business operations department, “assisting with various marketing, community relations and youth hockey initiatives.”

The news was first reported Sunday by Barstool Sports.

Campbell, 38, finished his career with one final season with the Blackhawks. He played in 1,082 regular season games with the Hawks, Panthers, Sabres, and Sharks from 1999 to 2017. He was a part of the 2010 Stanley Cup-winning team in Chicago before getting traded to Florida in 2011.

The defenseman came to call Chicago home, though, and when he became a free agent last year, he took a discount deal to come back. He wasn’t the same player as before, getting his least playing time since 2005-06, but he was still a solid contributor even in his late 30s.

Now he’ll get the chance to keep contributing to the Blackhawks off the ice.

"I'm excited to transition into the next step in both my professional career and life," said Campbell in a statement. "I'm grateful to the countless number of teammates, coaches, team staff and fans that I have crossed paths with throughout my playing career in Chicago, Buffalo, Florida and San Jose. The Blackhawks organization has allowed me to take on this challenge and I'm thankful for this new opportunity."

The Sabres originally selected Campbell in the sixth round of the 1997 NHL Draft. He made his debut during the 1999-00 season, then really broke out a few years later. The defenseman was never one of the league’s elite, but finished in the top 20 in Norris Trophy voting six times, including a fifth-place finish in 2007-08.