Earlier today, Joe speculated that the Chicago Blackhawks’ small tweaks might be the end of Chris Campoli’s brief time with the team. His instincts appear spot-on because Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman said that he won’t play for Chicago during the 2011-12 season.
In case your memory of the yawn-inducing 2011 trade deadline is (understandably) fuzzy, the Blackhawks paid pretty big for their brief time with Campoli. They traded a conditional second round pick and Ryan Potulny to the Ottawa Senators for the offensive defenseman, leading some folks to call them one of the “losers” of the trade deadline.
Campoli scored seven points in 19 regular season games for Chicago and had one point in the team’s seven game series against the Vancouver Canucks. Those numbers are mediocre enough for a defenseman whose greatest strength is in generating offense (and skating), but his season-ending turnover to Alex Burrows in overtime of Game 7 of the two teams’ first round series probably stamped his ticket out of Chicago.
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Campoli is scheduled for an August 3 salary arbitration hearing, but Bowman revealed that the team will probably make like the Atlanta Thrashers did with Clarke MacArthur in 2010 by walking away from the discussions altogether.
“It was apparent from the beginning their salary demands were just not in concert with where we see him fitting in our team,” Bowman said at the opening of the Blackhawks’ fan convention on Friday. “We had to make a decision (that) it wasn’t going to happen. We made our best offer and it wasn’t to his liking. He sees himself in a different category, price-wise.”
The Blackhawks could trade his rights (or maybe do a sign-and-trade if they’re feeling especially fancy), but Bowman reiterated that Campoli’s time with Chicago is over.
Campoli can be traded between now and his arbitration hearing or else the Hawks will “walk away” from the award, making him an unrestricted free agent.
“We’re working that out, but he’s not going to be back with us,” Bowman said.
It wouldn’t be surprising if a team in need of a half-decent, 26-year-old offensive defenseman might be interested in Campoli, but the Blackhawks shouldn’t expect to get anything too fancy in return. Campoli’s tendency to turn the puck over might place him in a category with borderline NHLers such as Marc-Andre Bergeron (or worse).