If Gregory Campbell was a throw-in, then Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli should make more trades with his Florida counterpart Dale Tallon and ask for plenty of “throw-ins.”
Campbell was obviously not the biggest name that changed teams in the deal that also landed Nathan Horton in Boston and Dennis Wideman with the Panthers. But his contributions to the Bruins’ cause in both the regular season and playoffs turned out to be every bit as important as what Horton or any other player in a Boston sweater brought.
Since the Bruins became Stanley Cup contenders, they’ve upgraded their fourth-line center position from the crafty veteran Stephane Yelle to the younger, higher-energy Steve Begin to Campbell. And now they’re not just contenders but Cup champions.
What Campbell contributed to the Bruins could be difficult to quantify but was easy to appreciate.
Regular season: 80 GP, 13-16-29, plus-11
Playoffs: 25 GP, 1-3-4, minus-2
Contract status: Signed through 2011-12 at a cap hit of $1.1 million.
Best regular-season moment: There are really two moments that tied for the top spot during Campbell’s regular season. First there was the fight with Cody McLeod in Colorado Jan. 22, when the Bruins really needed a wake-up call during a matinee. The Bruins trailed 1-0 at the time but won the game 6-2.
And then there was his 3-on-5 goal during the Bruins’ 7-0 destruction of Montreal March 24. He scored twice that night and added six faceoff wins in nine opportunities, plus a fight with Paul Mara.
Best playoff moment: It was the game that afterwards Campbell’s teammates presented him with “the jacket.” The Bruins staved off elimination in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final with a 5-2 win over Vancouver. Not everything Campbell did that night could be quantified with stats, but he won six of 10 faceoffs and logged 14:25 of ice time, including more than four minutes of shorthanded time for a Bruins penalty kill that went 5-for-6.
Worst moment: Campbell struggled in the Montreal series with no points and a minus-2 rating. He averaged around 10 minutes per game but — along with his fourth-line linemates — found out that he just wasn’t a good match-up for the finesse Canadiens.
Regular-season grade: A
Playoffs grade: A-minus. The first-round struggles and a couple of tough nights for the PK cost Campbell a perfect grade.
Carnac predicts … Campbell will compete for more minutes, and maybe even move to the wing, if need be for a Bruins team with a lot of depth down the middle.