Brian Campbell: Overrated or Just Overpaid?

Mikal ElyseCorrespondent IAugust 20, 2010

PHILADELPHIA - JUNE 04:  Brian Campbell #51 of the Chicago Blackhawks handles the puck against Arron Asham #45 of the Philadelphia Flyers in Game Four of the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Final at Wachovia Center on June 4, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

On a daily basis NHL fans protest Brian Campbell’s contract with the Chicago Blackhawks. In July of 2008 the Blackhawks signed Campbell to an eight year deal that fetches around $7.1 million a year. It was reported that other teams offered more eye-catching contracts, but Campbell still chose Chicago to be his new home.

For the past two seasons, Blackhawks fans and NHL fans have disputed Campbell's contract with remarks along the lines of "Campbell is overrated" or "Campbell is overpaid."

In the 2008-2009 season Campbell accrued 52 points in the regular season. As for 2009-2010 he was limited to 68 games and broke his streak of playing 388 consecutive games. Alexander Ovechkin prevented Campbell from finishing the regular season energetic and healthy with a boarding incident.

After that occurrence, Campbell was expected to miss 7-8 weeks. Despite this, he managed to return by Game Four in the first round of the playoffs. Upon his return, the Blackhawks went on to win three straight games, defeat the Nashville Predators, and ultimately win the Stanley Cup Finals.

Take away the salary cap, and Campbell is worth the money he gets paid. Under the NHL’s salary cap, however, in my opinion anyone making $7 million a year is making too much money.

Since joining the Blackhawks, Campbell has established himself as a higher scoring defenceman by accumulating 90 points in two seasons. He's a stunning skater through the neutral zone and a necessary piece of the Stanley Cup Champions.

Previous to Campbell coming back against the Predators this postseason, it seemed that the Blackhawks could not get the puck across the blue-line. Once Campbell appeared back on the ice, the Blackhawks got their competition right where they wanted them.

Campbell came through at clutch moments more than once in the past two seasons as well. One we should on no account ever forget: the only assist in Patrick Kane’s overtime game winning goal in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Beyond a doubt, to say Brian Campbell is overrated is quite irrational. I will give you overpaid, but a defenceman like this—every single NHL team should desire him in their jersey.