Brian Campbell expected to be healthy scratch


Blackhawks defenseman Brian Campbell is expected to be a healthy scratch Friday in Columbus, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

It’s a somewhat surprising development considering the attention Campbell’s return to Chicago was given over the summer, but the ‘Hawks have eight defensemen on the roster and that means, when everyone’s healthy, two have to sit each game.

“We don’t want the same two guys sitting out all the time,” head coach Joel Quenneville said. “Sometimes you don’t want to tinker with a winning lineup, and sometimes . . . you’ve got to get them in there to play. That’s what we’re visiting.”

The Sun-Times says to expect Trevor van Riemsdyk to get back into the lineup against the Blue Jackets, paired with rookie Gustav Forsling. Van Riemsdyk has only played once this season, and his name has recently popped up in trade rumors.

Veteran Michal Rozsival has yet to play, but could get in the lineup soon. He skated with Campbell at practice Wednesday.

Starting Friday in Columbus, the ‘Hawks play three games in four nights. They host Toronto Saturday and Calgary Monday. So the decision to scratch Campbell could, in part, be a way to keep the 37-year-old fresh in the early stages of a long season.

But it may also be related to the side he plays. Campbell shoots left, and last season in Florida he played the left side paired with either Aaron Ekblad or Erik Gudbranson, both of whom shoot right.

So far in Chicago, Campbell’s been on the right side, paired with left-shooting Forsling, who was not expected to make the team. Van Riemsdyk and Rozsival both shoot right and may be more natural partners for either Campbell or Forsling.

At any rate, time will tell how everything shakes out.

“That’s the thing with our defense,” said Quenneville. “You haven’t etched in stone how long it’s going to be with one guy. … That’ll be fun to see exactly how it’s going to end up.”