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Boston's Steven Kampfer will be a power play quarterback
There is an adage in hockey circles which simply states "you can never have enough good defensemen." Boston general manager Peter Chiarelli is well aware of this and has made deals for young blue liners with an eye towards the future.
Chiarelli made such a deal on March 2, 2010, with the Anaheim Ducks. He sent the Ducks a conditional fourth round draft pick and in return received Steven Kampfer.
Kampfer was a student-athlete at the University of Michigan at the time of the trade, but he has fast tracked to the NHL since graduating.
After earning his degree in 2010 and playing in four consecutive NCAA tournaments along the way, Kampfer joined the Providence Bruins for six games, picking up one goal and two assists.
He impressed the Boston brass with his skating, puckhandling and passing skills but more importantly, he appeared on the cusp of being ready to earn a job in the NHL.
Kampfer, who hails from Ann Arbor, Michigan, reported to training camp in the fall of 2010 ready to fight for a spot on Boston's roster. He had a strong camp but was sent back to Providence where the rearguard showed steady improvement.
Due to an injury in Boston, Kampfer was recalled and made his NHL debut on Dec. 9, 2010, against the New York Islanders.
The 22-year-old defender remained in Boston for a total of 38 games. He scored his first NHL goal on Dec. 28, 2010, against Tampa Bay and would add four more during the season, including the game winner against Philadelphia on Jan. 13, 2011.
Kampfer contributed five assists for a total of 10 points before being returned to Providence after the Bruins acquired another defenseman, Tomas Kaberle, from Toronto.
The entire Bruins organization was impressed with Kampfer's confidence and skills and recalled him for the 2011 Stanley Cup playoffs, however, a knee injury suffered in a game while with Providence just before his recall kept him out of the playoffs, which was a source of great frustration to Kampfer.
There is an NHL rule which states that in order for a player to have his name inscribed on the Stanley Cup, he must play in 41 regular season games or one Stanley Cup finals game. To his credit, Chiarelli has petitioned the NHL asking to have Kampfer's name put on the Stanley Cup.
Because he played less than 50 games in Boston last season, Steven Kampfer will be considered an NHL rookie this season. It is highly likely he will begin the season in Boston.
With Kaberle heading south, Kampfer could be the puck moving, power play quarterback the organization has been searching for all along.