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 ET
By Andrew Imber - FloridaPanthers.com / Countdown To Home Opener 2011
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Countdown To Home Opener 2011

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 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Jagr 79 27 39 23 66
J. Jokinen 81 18 42 25 60
A. Barkov 66 28 31 18 59
J. Huberdeau 76 20 39 17 59
V. Trocheck 76 25 28 15 53
R. Smith 82 25 25 19 50
A. Ekblad 78 15 21 18 36
N. Bjugstad 67 15 19 -8 34
B. Campbell 82 6 25 31 31
B. Pirri 52 11 13 -4 24
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 35 19 6 .922 2.35
A. Montoya 12 7 3 .919 2.18

 
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