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The Panthers 2011-12 season is quickly approaching and with that, floridapanthers.com is going 15 in 15 by taking a look at the top five questions, players to watch and games of the season on a countdown to the home opener on October 15th against Tampa Bay. We'll unveil one of the top five on a rotating basis each day to help fans get ready for what hopes to be an exciting season.

PURCHASE TICKETS TO THE HOME OPENER

Countdown 2: No. 1 Player To Watch; Brian Campbell

Thursday, 10.13.2011 / 5:30 PM
By Andrew Imber - FloridaPanthers.com / Countdown To Home Opener 2011
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Countdown To Home Opener 2011
Countdown 2: No. 1 Player To Watch; Brian Campbell

Defenseman Brian Campbell has posted 40-plus points in four seasons during his 11-year career including a career-high 62 split between Buffalo and San Jose during the 2007-08 season.
In today’s topic, we take a closer look at defenseman Brian Campbell in the Top Five Players To Watch this season.

After another finish out of contention during the 2010-11 regular season, the Florida Panthers were on the lookout for a turning point this offseason. On draft night in Minnesota, GM Dale Tallon found one in a familiar face – Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brian Campbell. Tallon convinced Campbell to waive his no-trade clause to come to the Panthers, after explaining his plan to recreate his masterpiece in Chicago, which resulted in a Stanley Cup, here in South Florida.

“He brings us credibility,” Tallon said in an interview after the trade. 


Tallon, himself, may not have known how right he was, as the move started a general migration of players to hockey’s most Southern market. Next on board was another Blackhawk – Tomas Kopecky, who was quickly signed by Tallon after the Panthers acquired his negotiating rights.

Then came the much talked about free agency haul that brought the Panthers into the South Florida spotlight for perhaps the first time since the glory days of 1996.

But it was the trade for Campbell that got the process started, and it is just one of the many reasons that he is the number one player to watch this season on our countdown.

A former sixth-round (156th overall) draft selection in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft, Campbell is the definition of a late-round gem. He spent eight seasons trying to establish himself as a contributor at the NHL level, before bursting onto the scene in 2005-06 with the Buffalo Sabres. That year he racked up 44 points, before improving to 48 points the next season. On pace to smash that pace in 2007-08, with 43 points in 63 games, the Sabres dealt Campbell to San Jose at the trade deadline, where he scored a whopping 19 points in 20 regular season contests, and 7 points in 13 playoff games. The next year, Tallon signed Campbell to a long-term contract in Chicago, and Campbell justified the decision with a 52-point regular season, and 10 point playoff campaign.

Campbell enjoyed a successful run in Chicago, including the championship season in 2009-10.

It’s really no wonder why Tallon chose “Soupy” as the main piece to help turn around the franchise. Championship teams are made up of championship players.

Campbell fits the bill perfectly.


BY THE NUMBERS

2 - Posted two assists in his first game as a Panther on October 8 as he set up Stephen Weiss and Jason Garrison for first period tallies.

6 - Finished with a career-low (for playing more than 40 games) six penalty minutes last season with Chicago.

12
- Netted career-high 12 goals during the 2005-06 season with Buffalo. Had a career-high five game-winners during that campaign.

53 - Entered 2011-12 season with Florida with a plus-53 rating. Has finished with plus-28 in two seperate seasons (2006-07, 2010-11)
 
62 - Registered a career-high 62 points split between Buffalo (43 points) and San Jose (19 points) during the 2007-08 season.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 62 41 16 5 171 135 87
2 NYI 64 41 21 2 205 179 84
3 NYR 61 38 17 6 192 152 82
4 TBL 64 38 20 6 210 171 82
5 DET 61 35 15 11 180 159 81
6 PIT 62 36 17 9 181 155 81
7 WSH 64 34 20 10 188 159 78
8 BOS 62 31 22 9 165 161 71
9 FLA 63 28 22 13 154 178 69
10 PHI 63 27 25 11 168 183 65
11 OTT 60 27 23 10 171 163 64
12 NJD 63 26 27 10 141 164 62
13 CBJ 62 26 32 4 160 196 56
14 CAR 61 24 30 7 142 162 55
15 TOR 63 25 33 5 170 193 55
16 BUF 63 19 39 5 123 212 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
N. Bjugstad 63 22 16 -8 38
J. Huberdeau 60 9 27 4 36
J. Jokinen 62 6 28 0 34
A. Ekblad 63 10 23 8 33
B. Boyes 61 11 21 9 32
J. Jagr 59 12 19 -9 31
J. Hayes 54 17 10 -5 27
B. Campbell 63 3 20 3 23
A. Barkov 52 10 12 -4 22
T. Fleischmann 52 7 14 12 21
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 23 16 11 .920 2.40
A. Montoya 5 6 2 .891 2.98
 
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