38-year-old Chicago Blackhawk defensemen Brian Campbell had a decision to make as the 2017 NHL season concluded. He would either retire after 17 years, or return to Chicago for one more year.
Campbell made his decision Monday and decided to hang up his skates and opt to retire from the NHL.
While his playing days are officially over, his career with the Chicago Blackhawks’ front office has just begun. Campbell will remain with the Hawks and take a position in their business operations department, the team announced.
According to Campbell, he said,
“I’m excited to transition into the next step in both my professional career and life. I’m grateful to the countless number of teammates, coaches, team staff and fans that I have crossed paths with throughout my playing career in Chicago, Buffalo, Florida and San Jose. The Blackhawks organization has allowed me to take on this challenge and I’m thankful for this new opportunity.”
Campbell began his NHL career in 1999 with the Buffalo Sabers after he was drafted 157th overall in 1997. Campbell has two separate stinks with the Hawks and was apart of the 2010 Stanley Cup team.
Campbell finished his playing career with 1,082 games played, 87 goals and 417 assists.
The Hawks signed him to an eight-year deal worth about $57.1 million in 2008 and he spent three seasons in his first stint with the the team, which included winning the 2010 Stanley Cup. He was a key part of a three playoff teams before the Hawks traded him to the Panthers in 2011 due to salary-cap considerations.
Campbell played in Florida before re-signing with the Hawks last season. He also played part of one season with the San Jose Sharks.
This is an exciting time for the long-time NHL player, and at a time they need him the most he will be able to help the young blue-line of the Chicago Blackhawks. While playing would better help mentor this inexperienced defensive unit for the Hawks, Campbell can still help mold this team back to their championship form, but this time he’ll be in the luxury box instead of the penalty box.
[via Chicago Tribune]