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CHICAGO -- We’ll never know what the Chicago Blackhawks blue-line could have been if former Hawk and current Montreal Canadian Chris Campoli had re-signed in the offseason as he expected to do.
|Chris Campol was hopeful he would stay in Chicago, but the Hawks thought otherwise.|
Campoli, in town to face the Hawks and only playing in his sixth game this season due to an injury, ended up being let go after a salary dispute last summer.
“It’s kind of unique how it happened because it doesn’t happen often that way,” Campoli said about leaving as a restricted free agent. “The business sides of things is sometimes unfortunate. I have nothing but good things to say about the organization. It didn’t work out financially but it’s something I’ll never forget.”
Campoli didn’t get into specifics but it was believed at the time when the Hawks signed Steve Montador to a four-year $11 million deal, it helped set the market for Campoli -- he certainly subscribed to that line of thinking.
“Steve did great,” Campoli said. “That’s the market place. Good for him. I was happy for him. Steve is a friend of mine.”
Campoli is five years younger than Montador, but the two have different skill sets. Still, Campoli fit in with the Hawks puck possession, skating style. In fact, it’s his strength.
“I thought I fit in well while I was here,” he said. “It was a great experience for me. That’s all I can really say about it.”
Add Campoli to the current unit on the blue-line and the Hawks would have less money to spend in-season, but they might have less of a need to spend it. Joel Quenneville has rotated his sixth defenseman all year and Campoli would have undoubtedly solidified that last pair. The Hawks expected it to happen and so did Campoli but it never materialized. The Hawks would have employed one of the most expensive blue-lines in the game.
Instead, Campoli’s lasting impression, as a Hawk, is his infamous give-away in overtime of Game 7 of last year’s playoff series with Vancouver. Alex Burrows scored the winning goal after Campoli wasn’t able to clear the zone as Burrows knocked down his clearing attempt.
“It was something that happened,” Campoli said Wednesday. “It’s something I’ll learn from. It won’t be the last mistake. As a professional you deal with things throughout your career. Unfortunately I made a mistake at a real critical time. I’ve put it behind me.”
It doesn’t mean Campoli hasn’t thought about it.
“If I could do something different I probably would have used the glass,” he explained. “Physical errors are something that happens in the game. It was unfortunate.”
Campoli faced the media about the play that night and again on Wednesday, the only difference is now he plays for Montreal.