Blackhawks

Why Brian Campbell knew it was time to retire from NHL

Why Brian Campbell knew it was time to retire from NHL

Brian Campbell had barely sat down at his retirement presser when his eyes started to water. It wouldn’t take long for the tears to come, even though he told teammates he wouldn’t cry. After 17 seasons, this was really it.

Campbell met with the media on Tuesday, one day after he announced his retirement from the NHL. While he’s leaving the Blackhawks as a player he’s joining them in the front office, as special advisor in business and hockey relations. With his family — wife Lauren, daughters Harper and Everley and parents Ed and Lorna— in attendance, an emotional Campbell talked about leaving the game.

“I didn’t solicit any offers. I talked to some teams. I just didn’t think it was fair, if I wasn’t going to play, to do that to anyone and just try to start negotiating with teams,” Campbell said. “I’ve been thinking about [retirement] for a while. At the end of the season, I didn’t know if I was ready to do it anymore. So that was only fair. But I will say July 1 was tough, a tough day. There’ve been some tough days. But I think we’re happy with our decision.”

Blackhawks president John McDonough said Campbell called him about six weeks ago and mentioned he was contemplating retirement. The two talked of the possibility of Campbell staying with the Blackhawks in some capacity.

“I wanted to give him the requisite amount of time because it’s a tough decision. Seventeen years, four-time All-Star ... and the timing had to be right. He kept talking to me about the importance of his family and didn’t want to leave Chicago, so I tossed it back and I said once you are firm on your decision, give me a call. When he called me back, I said the door is wide open.”

Leaving the game is bittersweet. Campbell wasn’t going to be returning to the Blackhawks as a player; the team told him they were moving in a different direction on defense, and he appreciated the Blackhawks letting him know with plenty of time. Campbell gets to stay in Chicago and with the Blackhawks front office. But saying goodbye to his playing days was nevertheless difficult.

“I don’t think I’d want to retire any other way but a Blackhawk. It was fun. I had a blast. There were a lot of nights after games, I was with my buddies. That was the best part of all of that,” Campbell said. “It wasn’t fun pulling off the jersey [in April], that’s for sure. These are just thoughts I’ve had for a while now. I feel like this is the time for me to step away.”

NHLPA authorizes further negotiations with NHL on 24-team return-to-play format

NHLPA authorizes further negotiations with NHL on 24-team return-to-play format

The NHL Players' Association Executive Board announced Friday night that it has agreed to the NHL's proposed 24-team return-to-play format. The voting process involving all 31 player representatives began Thursday night but the results were not made official until Friday.

"The Executive Board of the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) has authorized further negotiations with the NHL on a 24-team return to play format to determine the winner of the 2020 Stanley Cup," the NHLPA said in a statement. "Several details remain to be negotiated and an agreement on the format would still be subject to the parties reaching agreement on all issues relevant to resuming play.​"

If and when the final details are agreed upon, the format would feature 12 teams from both the Eastern and Western Conference with the top four teams based on current points percentage each earning a first-round bye. In the East, the Boston Bruins, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals and Philadelphia Flyers would secure the 1-4 seeds while the St. Louis Blues, Colorado Avalanche, Vegas Golden Knights and Dallas Stars would do the same in the West.

Seeds 5-12 would feature a best-of-5 play-in series to determine the bottom four seeds in the Stanley Cup playoffs while the top four seeds would compete against each other in a round-robin format to determine the official seeding.

The Blackhawks, in this format, are slated to take on the Edmonton Oilers. They went 2-1-0 and had a plus-1 goal differential against the Oilers this season.

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Report: NHL playoff proposal including Blackhawks expected to be approved by NHLPA

Report: NHL playoff proposal including Blackhawks expected to be approved by NHLPA

On Friday, TSN's Bob McKenzie reported the NHL's playoff proposal is expected to get approved by the NHLPA. 

"While last night’s NHLPA executive committee conference call got a little heated at times, and various individual players still have a wide variety of views on the NHL’s (Return to Play) format, the exec committee vote by team is expected to result in NHLPA approval of the NHL plan," McKenzie tweeted. 

Related: Blackhawks to play Oilers in 24-team playoff proposal

The 12th place in the Western Conference Blackhawks make the cut in the 24-team playoff proposal that gives the top four teams in each conference a bye with the remaining teams competing in a best-of-5 play-in round. The remainder of this year's potential playoff rounds would be best-of-7. 

Related: Patrick Kane a reason players voted against best-of-3 series

"If that is indeed the case, and I believe team by team balloting has concluded or will conclude shortly, it should pave the way for the NHL and NHLPA to perhaps formally announce the (Return to Play) format in the coming days. We are not, however, expecting that format announcement to come with any timetable or critical date roll-out, not yet anyway," McKenzie added.

Attention Dish and Sling customers! You have lost your Blackhawks games on NBC Sports Chicago. To switch providers, visit mysportschicago.com.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Blackhawks easily on your device.