At 37, Brian Campbell is the NHL’s 13th-oldest skater (non-goalie division), and the fifth-oldest blueliner. He’s appeared in over 1,000 career games and won a Stanley Cup, which has led to the inevitable question:
When you gonna hang ’em up?
“I’m going to decide at the end of the season what I’m going to do, as in whether I play or not,” Campbell said this week, per the Daily Herald. “I’ll sit down with the wife and figure it out, see what we want to do and see what our options are from there.
“As of right now, I feel good and I feel like I’m playing good and feel like I can still contribute. But there’s no rush to make any sort of decision.”
Campbell’s second stint with the ‘Hawks has gone pretty well. Signed to a one-year, $2.25 million deal in free agency — his version of a hometown discount, given he was making $7.1M annually on his last contract — the veteran has three goals and 10 points this season, averaging just under 19 minutes per night.
That last figure is interesting, though.
Campbell is a durable workhorse, as always — he’s played in all 37 games this year, and hasn’t missed one since ’10-11 — but his minutes are down from Florida, where he averaged 23:13 and 22:17 TOI the last two campaigns.
Obviously, some of this has to do with Chicago’s other d-men — Duncan Keith plays 26 minutes per night, Brent Seabrook 22:35, and Niklas Hjalmarsson 21:45 — but one wonders if head coach Joel Quenneville might be holding back a bit, knowing Campbell will be relied upon more in the playoffs.
And, potentially, next season.
Campbell told the Daily Herald “I don’t want to go anywhere else,” in ’16-17, adding the ‘Hawks are “well aware” of his stance and plans. Of course, Campbell also said he probably wouldn’t come back for a bargain basement price — “you’ve got to get up and want to do it for what you’re being paid,” he said — which could be a problem, given GM Stan Bowman just shelled out $12 million for Artemi Panarin.
Something to keep an eye on this offseason, for sure.