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Taking The Next Step

Friday, 07.20.2007 / 2:06 PM ET / News
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Taking The Next Step
By Dave Joseph for floridapanthers.com

Gregory Campbell believes he’s ready to make an impact.

On and off the ice.

The gritty left winger, fresh from helping to run his family’s hockey camp outside Toronto, is in South Florida to serve as one of the instructors at the Panthers’ second annual NHL Development Camp July 23-27 at incredibleICE in Coral Springs.

“The camps are always a lot of fun,” said Campbell, 23, who will be joined by other Panther players and alumni including Stephen Weiss and assistant coach Pierre Groulx. “What we try to do is talk to the kids and show them some things. There’s so much competition today, some parents are so driven, that sometimes we can lose site of kids just having fun. We want to make sure they’re learning but also want to send them home with a smile on their face.”

Campbell, who enters his third season with the Panthers after being drafted by the team in the fourth round (67th overall) of the 2002 Entry Draft, has gained a reputation as an excellent penalty killer and fourth-line winger who isn’t afraid to fight along the boards or in the corners.

But he also admits he’s looking at the 2007-08 season as a key one in his development. Playing mostly on the fourth line last season, Campbell played in 79 games and scored a career-high six goals. But Campbell, usually one of the last players to leave the practice ice, wants to further contribute.

“It’s a big challenge for me,” he said. “I’m at a stage where, while I’m still a young guy and still have a lot to learn, hopefully, I want to make a bigger impact. I consider it a privilege being a Panther and I want to be part of this team. I took on a bigger role last year with penalty killing and being a role player, but I want to contribute in a bigger way.”

Campbell, who played with several different linemates throughout the season and whose playing time varied depending on game circumstances, said he has to be ready no matter what the situation.

“I really have to be versatile and play in any situation,” he said. “It’s not always easy but I look forward to those challenges. I don’t want to use anything as an excuse. It doesn’t matter if I’m playing with Olli (Jokinen) and Nathan (Horton) or a couple kids getting their first opportunity in the NHL. When (GM/coach) Jacques (Martin) wants me to be ready then I have to bring my game for the team.”

Campbell echoed the sentiments of other Panthers who believe the team has gotten stronger over the off-season due to off-season acquisitions by Martin and assistant general manager Randy Sexton. But he also believes the core group of Panthers are ready to take a giant step forward.

“I think we’ve learned from the past,” Campbell said. “A few guys have been with the team now awhile and, hopefully, this is the year we’re going to rectify what we haven’t done in the past. No one was satisfied with the outcome of last season. But Jacques and his staff are smart people who have built winners in the past. I know they did a lot of work nailing down key players in the organization and making sure they’re with us for a while.”

The NHL Development Camp, limited to 60 players, is for players hoping to advance their hockey careers with focus on intense drills and team scenarios. The camp will run from 9 a.m., to 4 p.m., each day.

The Development Camp will be the last of three camps held by the Panthers in July. More than 50 players participated in the Fundamental Hockey School run by Panther defenseman Mike Van Ryn and more than 40 children participated last week in the Rob Tallas Goalie School.

SCHEDULE

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 74 46 20 8 195 162 100
2 NYR 72 46 19 7 219 167 99
3 TBL 74 46 21 7 242 191 99
4 NYI 75 44 26 5 228 208 93
5 PIT 74 40 23 11 204 186 91
6 DET 72 39 21 12 208 195 90
7 WSH 73 39 24 10 212 180 88
8 OTT 72 37 24 11 212 190 85
9 BOS 74 36 25 13 195 193 85
10 FLA 73 33 26 14 180 201 80
11 PHI 75 30 29 16 196 216 76
12 NJD 73 31 31 11 164 186 73
13 CBJ 73 34 35 4 198 228 72
14 CAR 73 27 36 10 170 201 64
15 TOR 74 27 41 6 193 237 60
16 BUF 74 20 46 8 141 249 48

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Huberdeau 70 12 32 5 44
N. Bjugstad 72 24 19 -7 43
J. Jokinen 72 7 33 -1 40
J. Jagr 68 13 24 -6 37
B. Boyes 71 12 23 9 35
A. Ekblad 72 11 24 8 35
J. Hayes 63 18 13 -4 31
A. Barkov 62 12 15 -4 27
B. Campbell 73 3 20 -1 23
B. Pirri 40 18 2 4 20
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 25 17 11 .921 2.35
A. Montoya 5 7 2 .888 3.08
 
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