When the Florida Panthers experienced their brief turnaround during the 2011-12 season, Brian Campbell was right in the middle of things. When they fell to the bottom of the league standings in 2013, trade rumors began to swirl around the veteran defenseman.
Campbell is looked at as one of the worst contracts around, but that actually makes him one of the more underrated defensemen in the league. He’s a veteran presence and a guy capable of logging big minutes on a top pairing, while providing stability at both ends of the ice.
Which is exactly what makes him an attractive trade candidate for teams in need of blue line help. Despite his contract, which is nearing its end, Campbell has a lot of things that make him an attractive commodity. He’s one of the game’s better puck moving d-men, while providing steady play in his own end, including responsibility with the puck.
Campbell was acquired to be a leader and a no. 1 defenseman for the Panthers. It was Dale Tallon that signed him to that deal when the two were in Chicago, and it was Tallon that acquired him from the Blackhawks two summers ago. It could be Tallon that ends up trading him away this season.
If the Panthers are in a position where they aren’t contending again, which is entirely possible given that they did virtually nothing to improve their roster this summer, then they could look to sell some of their veterans. Campbell would be a prime candidate to be moved.
Not because he’s not valuable to the organization, but he has the best chance of bringing back a decent haul of players/prospects in an exchange. As the trade deadline nears, keep an eye on the Panthers. If they’re not contending, it’s very likely that Campbell becomes one of the top few defensemen available.