One of the moves that helped this Florida Panthers team shake off mediocrity and get back into playoff contention in the 2011-2012 season was the addition of Brian Campbell. Acquired from the Chicago Blackhawks, he’s become a centerpiece of this Panthers squad in the last two years.
This is a player that has been pretty underrated for most of his career, particularly in recent years, as his contract has made him look bad. But there’s no denying how many different ways he can impact the game. He showed that as a no. 3 defenseman for Chicago, and has really blossomed in taking over as the top defenseman for the Florida Panthers.
Campbell is one of the game’s top puck movers. He’s an excellent offensive defenseman while also performing well in his own zone. He logs more minutes than most players in the league, averaging over 26 minutes of ice time in 2013. He averaged almost four minutes a game on the power play as well, in addition to a handful of minutes while a man down.
At the trade deadline, there was some talk of dealing Brian Campbell. That talk is sure to emerge again as we head into the offseason here in just a couple of weeks. A couple of years ago, when this team was heading into a rebuild, this is a move that would have made sense. Not so much the case now.
A healthy Panther squad is a team capable of reaching the playoffs, given that they make the proper adjustments this summer. Many of those adjustments lie on the blue line. The Panthers are in a position where they need more defense, not less. Especially when you’re talking about a player of Campbell’s caliber.
Campbell is a major key to the success of the Florida Panthers. He impacts the game in so many ways on the ice, providing strong offense from the blue line, as well as stability in the defensive end. He’s a contributor on both special teams. And he’s an excellent guy to have around in the locker room. His name will likely pop up in trade rumors, but the Panthers would be foolish to consider such a move.