Blackhawks acquire defenseman Campoli

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Blackhawks acquire defenseman Campoli

Monday, Feb. 28, 2011
Posted 1:05 p.m. Updated 7:34 p.m.

By Tracey Myers
CSNChicago.com

St. Paul, Minn - Chris Campoli knew he could possibly be going elsewhere.

The 26-year-old defenseman was on an Ottawa Senators team that had big expectations at the start of the season but is now mired near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings. Changes were coming there, and Campoli sensed he was going to be part of them.

READ: Blackhawks losers at deadline?

For the Chicago Blackhawks, the mobile, puck-moving defenseman was the right guy for their needs.

The Blackhawks acquired Campoli and a conditional seventh-round pick from the Senators in exchange for Ryan Potulny and a conditional second-round selection on Monday afternoon. For Campoli, who spent the past three seasons with the Senators, its a chance to play with a team on the edge of making the postseason.

Going forward for me, its an opportunity that I could get a fresh start and really take advantage of a new beginning with a franchise going in a great direction, he said. Theyve had success in the past, they have high expectations and it will be a challenge for me to contribute to that. Im looking forward to that opportunity.

Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman was not sure when Campoli would join his new team, as there are visa issues that need to be completed.

Hopefully were getting that done in short order. In some ways its out of our hands. Were doing all we can to expedite things, Bowman said. Hes certainly ready to go, hes healthy. Once we get paperwork done hell be with the team.

Campoli has three goals and 11 assists for the Senators this season. He will be a restricted free agent next season and made 1.4 million this season. He played more than 18 minutes per game with Ottawa.

The good news for him is he can come here and hes not going to be required to carry the load, Bowman said. We have a lot of guys who can play good minutes, so he needs to compliment them.

Bowman added theyve been looking at Campoli for a while now.

We wanted to find a defenseman that fits the style of play that we play and he certainly fits that category, he said. Hes been in a situation where hes been put in even-strength or special-teams (situations), he can move the puck, he has good mobility and he compliments the group of defensemen we have. His style of play is similar to the way we want to play.

Campoli could also help the Blackhawks penalty kill. He played more than 98 minutes this season on the Senators kill and was also third on Ottawas team with 70 blocked shots. For Campoli, whatever the Blackhawks need hell try and give them.

Im capable of penalty killing, I had more of an opportunity (on it) this year in Ottawa than in the past, he said. Stan saw me as a defenseman who could contribute in all situations. I know he expects me to come in and help. Depending on the system in Chicago and way coaches want to do things, Ill adjust my game accordingly.

The Blackhawks desire to acquire a defenseman turned into more of a need after Sunday night, when Jordan Hendry suffered a torn ACL in his left knee against the Phoenix Coyotes. Hendry is out for the season and will have surgery on the injury, which will take six months for full recovery according to Blackhawks team physician Dr. Michael Terry.

Weve been focused on getting a defenseman, but that certainly didnt decrease our interest. If nothing else, increased it, Bowman said. Those things do happen and thats why you lay the groundwork ahead of time. Part of that research led us to be able to close the deal that we did.

Tracey Myers is CSNChicago.com's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.

Blackhawks ink Anton Forsberg, Tomas Jurco

Blackhawks ink Anton Forsberg, Tomas Jurco

When the Blackhawks traded to get Brandon Saad back, they also acquired Anton Forsberg, who they believe is ready to be their latest backup goaltender. On Monday they signed him to a two-year deal.

The Blackhawks inked two players on Monday, Forsberg, whose contract runs through the 2018-19 season, and Tomas Jurco, who agreed to a one-year contract extension.

Forsberg joins the Blackhawks having very little NHL experience – he’s played 10 career games at this level, going 1-8-0. But the Blackhawks’ previous two backup goaltenders, Antti Raanta and Scott Darling, hadn’t made an NHL appearance before joining the Blackhawks. Forsberg led the Cleveland Monsters, the Columbus Blue Jackets’ AHL-affiliate team, to a Calder Cup title in 2016; during that run he went 9-0 with a 1.34 goals-against average and .949 save percentage.

On Friday, when the Blackhawks acquired Saad and Forsberg from Columbus for Artemi Panarin and Tyler Motte, general manager Stan Bowman said the team is, “optimistic about Anton’s potential.”

“We like his profile as a goalie,” he said. “He’s a big guy, takes up a lot of net, has that mobility and makes good positional saves as well as athletic saves. A year ago, led his team to the [Calder] Cup championships, so he knows what it’s like to put a team on his back. It was the AHL but he’s had a lot of success there. He’s earned the right to be an NHL goalie.”

Jurco, acquired by the Blackhawks from Detroit in February, played 13 games with them down the regular-season stretch. Bowman said shortly after the trade that Jurco would get a chance here.

“We’ll be patient with him but we really think there’s a good fit there, looking at his skills and the style of hockey we play,” he said. “I think a lot of ways, sometimes guys need different opportunities. It doesn’t work out in every place. A fresh start will be great for Tomas.”

Blackhawks notebook: A busy draft, free agency and RFAs

Blackhawks notebook: A busy draft, free agency and RFAs

Eight draft picks in about 3 ½ hours. It was a busy Saturday for the Blackhawks, and when general manager Stan Bowman talked that afternoon about the team’s Day 2 haul, he came prepared.

“I have my little cheat sheet,” Bowman said of the paper on which he had written the Blackhawks’ eight newest prospects.

After a few days’ worth of moves the Blackhawks focused on the future, taking nine players over two days at the NHL Draft. It was a successful weekend for the Blackhawks, who hosted the draft for the first time and built up assets, especially on the blue line. Five of the Blackhawks’ nine selections were defensemen.

“One of the things we talked about was looking at the market. There’s a high value on defensemen. We’re not necessarily looking at the draft but our team this year and over the next couple of years; those are the assets that are valuable around the league,” Bowman said. “Look at the trade Calgary made [for Travis Hamonic], defensemen are a valuable commodity. That was a priority coming in and we were able to accomplish it.”

What comes next

The Blackhawks got what they wanted at this weekend’s draft but the focus will soon shift, as free agency opens on July 1. It remains to be seen what the Blackhawks will have cap-wise come a week from now. Currently, according to CapFriendly.com, they’re $1.445 million over the $75 million cap. It’s doubtful the Blackhawks apply the long-term injured reserve tag on Marian Hossa during the offseason. It’s possible they could still trade Marcus Kruger to gain some space. Bowman said, one way or another, “there will be some movement.”

“We’ll bring some players in, I don’t know how many, what position or what level,” he said. “This is where there’s a lot of activity, the couple weeks in the middle of June until the middle of July. That’s when the most changes happen. We’ll go to work, now that we’re past this.”

Wait for it

The Blackhawks also have to decide whether or not to qualify restricted free agents Dennis Rasmussen and Tomas Jurco. Bowman said that’ll be decided by Monday.

“I’ve had discussions with both agents,” he said. “I don’t have an answer right now but we’ll have that worked out in the next day and a half.”