With Brian Campbell Out, Who Fills His Spot on the Blackhawks Blueline?
As it has been widely reported by multiple media outlets and my fellow feature columnist, Tab Bamford, Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brian Campbell will be out of the lineup for the rest of the season.
It has been reported that Campbell sustained a broken clavicle and some broken ribs after being shoved into the end boards by Washington Capitals forward Alexander Ovechkin that resulted in his expulsion from the game.
Now that we know that Campbell will likely be out for the rest of the season and possibly much of the playoffs. The focus now turns to who replaces Campbell on the Blackhawks blueline.
As for Campbell's position on the second defensive pairing, it will likely be recently acquired Kim Johnson who will step up to a pairing along side Niklas Hjalmarsson.
Now who will fill Campbell's roster spot? That becomes far more interesting.
The early favorite amongst most Blackhawks fans to take Campbell's roster position is recently acquired defenseman Nick Boynton.
Boynton does have the most experience amongst the Blackhawks choices and would inject a good amount of grit on their blueline, however to be added to the Blackhawks roster he would need to pass through waivers and it is possible that a team might claim him so the 'Hawks couldn't add him to their lineup.
Two names that might get a shot to help the 'Hawks on the back end could be two players who were both Blackahwks roster players during the 2006-2007 season, Jassen Cullimore and Danny Richmond.
Both Cullimore and Richmond have been in the American Hockey League the entire 2009-2010 season and niether has had the the type of season that would make you comfortable with them at the NHL level.
With Boynton's uncertainty and the lack any real depth along the blueline the Blackhawks will need to lean on players they already have on the NHL roster.
One player who could really help himself in the absence of Campbell will be reserve defenseman Jordan Hendry.
If Hendry can setup and provide solidarity at the end of the season and into the playoffs, much like Hjalmarsson did last season, then all might not be lost but can lightning strike twice for the Blackhawks?
That is a question that will take time to be answered but for now we will have to wait and wish Brian Campbell a speedy recovery.
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