Blackhawks

Blackhawks acquire defenseman Campoli

398900.jpg

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.

Wake-up call? Brandon Saad 'surprised' about possibility of being a healthy scratch

brandon_saad_ap.jpg
AP

Wake-up call? Brandon Saad 'surprised' about possibility of being a healthy scratch

Brandon Saad played a majority of last season on the first line, started this season on the second to change things up, got demoted to the fourth by the fifth game, and could find himself out of the lineup in the sixth.

Before the Blackhawks hit the ice for practice on Monday, the 25-year-old winger found a white jersey hanging in his stall. That's usually reserved for players who are injured — Andreas Martinsen (back) was the only other player wearing one — or players who are on the outside looking in, which appears to be Saad right now considering he was not part of the four-line rotation.

"I don't think anyone wants to be wearing white around here," he said. "But it is what it is and there's nothing you can do but keep trying to improve. It's their job to make the call to put the best team out there to win hockey games."

Known for being even-keeled through the ups and downs, Saad expressed disappointment about the possibility of being a healthy scratch on Thursday against the Arizona Coyotes. He didn't exactly show that emotion following his demotion to the fourth line, perhaps out of respect to the players he was playing with by noting how it brings balance.

But he did on Monday, and it was the first time we've really seen some sort of emotion out of him.

"Everyone makes mistakes and things aren't always going to go your way but to be out of the lineup, a little surprised today," Saad said. "But it is what it is. ... No one wants to be out of the lineup. That's never fun regardless of who you are."

When asked to pinpoint what's gone wrong, Saad said he wasn't the right person to ask.

"I think you got to ask him that," he said, referring to Joel Quenneville and the coaching staff. "It's his calls. For me, you can talk pros and cons as much as you want but just trying to go out there and compete and win hockey games. We've won a few here, I know every game has gone to overtime so they've been close. Nothing was said to me about lineup change or anything like that. You just come in and you see your jersey and you go out there and you play."

So Quenneville was asked.

"Just expect more," he said. "That's the situation."

Is his mindset in the right place?

"I think he's fine," Quenneville said. "His mindset is what it is. Whether it's urgency or passion, coming up with loose pucks in those areas is going to be the difference."

The Blackhawks sending a message shouldn't only be directed at Saad. It also serves as a reminder to his teammates and is important to note for the younger guys about earning your ice time.

"I don't really know where the coaches are coming from so I'm not going to comment on that," Jonathan Toews said respectfully. "But [Saad] has been doing some good things and I think it's good for all of us to know what's going on there because if [Saad] can get his ice time taken away, then so can a lot of guys, myself included. So we all want to play well and have team success."

The Blackhawks need Saad to return to form quickly because he's crucial to their overall success. There's no debate about that. It's why the thought of Saad, who played in all 82 games last season, serving as the 13th forward is frustrating for everyone involved.

It hasn't been a problem in the past, but now it's becoming one because of the Blackhawks' aspirations of getting back to the playoffs and their dependence on their top players.

"I don’t think it’s an issue," Quenneville said. "We just expect more out of him."

Blackhawks make sports history with fifth straight overtime game to start season

Blackhawks make sports history with fifth straight overtime game to start season

The Blackhawks made sports history on Saturday after they appeared in their fifth straight overtime game to start the season.

No NHL team has done that since the league introduced a regular-season overtime period in 1983-84, per the Elias Sports Bureau. It also has never happened in the history of MLB, NBA or NFL, showing just how crazy this early season run has been for the Blackhawks, who have rallied from all five games and have come away with wins in three of them.

"We’ve had five games, every one of them have been extremely intense and the game’s been on the line from start to finish," coach Joel Quenneville said following a 4-3 overtime win over the St. Louis Blues. "Our group’s been competitive this year, the guys have been working hard for one another. I don’t know how many games we’ve been down in the third period, and coming back to win is special."

The Blackhawks appeared in 17 overtime/shootout games last season and won seven of them. They are one of six teams this season that have yet to pick up a regulation win.

On a separate note, Saturday marked the eighth time in Blackhawks history that one player scored a tying goal in the third period and scored in overtime (Alex DeBrincat), according to the NHL's PR department. It's the second time it's happened this year for the Blackhawks, with Jonathan Toews the other on Oct. 6 against St. Louis.