Chicago Blackhawks Sign Defenceman Brian Campbell

Michael Clifford

2016-07-01

The Blackhawks brought back a former prominent member of a Cup team and signed Brian Campbell. 

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Once Keith Yandle signed with the Florida Panthers, it seemed inevitable that Brian Campbell would be moving on from the Florida Panthers. This was confirmed earlier today as Campbell returned back to where he won his only Stanley Cup:

Signing Campbell gives the Blackhawks a solid top-four with Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, and Niklas Hjalmarsson. I wonder how the pairings will work out, but regardless, this is good for Chicago in general, both in terms of the player they’re getting, and the term/salary given out.

In Campbell’s first two years with Chicago, he managed 90 points in 150 games, an incredibly solid total. Campbell is no longer that player of yesteryear, however, as he’s managed just 95 points in his last 246 games with Florida. That doesn’t mean he isn’t valuable; he was an anchor for Aaron Ekblad in Florida, and can be solid for the Blackhawks.

For fantasy relevance, though, I’m not sure there’s much here. We will see how the power play aligns for the Blackhawks because last year, it was basically Keith on one unit, Seabrook on another, and that’s about it. Some guys filled in once in a while like David Rundblad briefly or Trevor Daley before he was traded, but it was basically Keith and Seabrook. I wonder if that was the plan, given their talented forwards, or if it was just a lack of other options.

If I had to guess, I think Campbell sneaks into the second power play unit, which could either be as the lone quarterback or alongside Seabrook. Campbell has averaged 10 power play points over the last two years, and repeating that seems about likely.

I don’t think Campbell’s situation changes much for fantasy. Expect somewhere around 30-35 points again.

Who does this affect positively, in order:

  1. Keith Yandle
  2. Michael Matheson

Now that it’s confirmed that Campbell is out of the picture for the Panthers, there is some clarity to their defensive situation. Yandle should see more minutes, which means more points. Matheson may see some more minutes as well.

Who does this affect negatively, in order:

  1. Trevor van Riemsdyk
  2. Aaron Ekblad

The other van Riemsdyk had seen some power play time last year, and seemed – at certain times anyway – to be gaining a bit of favour with the coaching staff. With Campbell brought in now, without a big injury to one of the top-4, it seems like TvR will be shut out of top-four minutes, and even semi-regular power play minutes.

As most people, I do think that Ekblad is that monster number-1 defenceman in the making. As I’ve stated repeatedly before here on Dobber, though, his numbers playing away from Campbell so far in his young career have been pretty dismal. Maybe this is the year that Ekblad really takes that huge leap forward, and becomes that young number-1 defenceman like Drew Doughty did early in his career. Until that is actually seen though, losing Campbell should hurt Ekblad’s overall game.

*Stats from Hockey Reference, Hockey Analysis. Cap info from Cap Friendly

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HOT PLAYERS

  Players Team GP G A P
EVGENI MALKIN PIT 5 4 7 11
ADAM FOX NYR 4 1 6 7
JAKUB VORACEK PHI 6 0 10 10
NATHAN MACKINNON COL 5 2 6 8
MIKA ZIBANEJAD NYR 29 25 19 44
NIKITA KUCHEROV T.B 24 16 20 36
KEVIN FIALA MIN 11 9 7 16
EVANDER KANE S.J 7 5 5 10
KYLE CONNOR WPG 7 8 2 10
RYAN NUGENT-HOPKINS EDM 17 8 16 24

LINE COMBOS

  Frequency NYR Players
14.6% STEVEN FOGARTY BRETT HOWDEN KAAPO KAKKO
12.4% PAVEL BUCHNEVICH ARTEMI PANARIN MIKA ZIBANEJAD
9.2% PHILLIP DI GIUSEPPE JULIEN GAUTHIER GREG MCKEGG

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