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Bowman: Campoli fits Hawks' system

by Chicago Blackhawks / Chicago Blackhawks
Blackhawks VP/GM Stan Bowman spoke to the media via conference call Monday evening regarding the acquisition of defenseman Chris Campoli from Ottawa. Below are excerpts from the call.

On what Campoli bring to the Blackhawks:

"Chris is a player we’ve been following for a bit. We wanted to find a defenseman that would fit in with the style of play that we play and he certainly fits that category. He’s been in a situation where he’s played in different capacities – whether it’s even-strength or special teams. He has the ability to move the puck, he has good mobility, and I think he compliments the group of defensemen we have and his style of play is similar to the way we want to play. He doesn’t like to just throw the puck away and just get it out of the zone, he likes to make a direct pass if possible and I think that’s one of the things we’ve seen that’s improved with our group over the last month or so. Nick Leddy has really come along and complimented that and I think Chris is another player that plays that style of being able to make a pass and if there’s not a play there, he’ll hold on to the puck, regroup and try again. I know our forwards like to play with defensemen that play that way."

On the decision not to trade for a "PK specialist":

"We looked at some guys like that, but there aren’t a lot of guys that fit that category exclusively – that that’s all they do. The thing we also liked about Chris is that he’s not just a rental player – he’s not just here for a couple months. He’s a young guy, we have his rights beyond just this season and he fits into this season as well as next. He can play in all situations. He’s not strictly a shot-blocker, he can do things with the puck, he can make plays and he’s mobile."

On whether Jordan Hendry's season-ending injury made acquiring a defender a necessity:

"That’s hard to say because like I’ve been saying for a while – we’ve been focused on getting defensemen. It certainly didn’t decrease our interest, if anything it probably increased it. Nevertheless we were working just as hard anyway, even before [Hendry] was injured. Those things do happen and that’s why you lay the groundwork ahead of time. We contacted each GM multiple times leading up to today so we knew which players were in play. Part of that research is what led us to being able to land the deal we did."

On when Campoli will make his Blackhawks debut:

"Well we’re hoping he’s going to get here as soon as he can. He’s a Canadian playing in a Canadian city and they don’t have the U.S. working visa, so we’re working on that as we speak. Hopefully [we’ll be] getting that done in short order. In some ways it’s out of our hands – we’re doing everything we can to expedite things – but he’s certainly ready to go. He’s healthy, he’s ready to join the team and as soon as we can get that paperwork done then he’ll be with the team."

On the team's current depth at center:

"I think that’s something we were looking to add to, but as we’ve seen earlier this season, Sharp can always play the middle and Kopecky’s played some center. So, we’ve got two guys there that are currently on the wing that can move to the middle. I think having Ryan Johnson come on here over the past couple weeks has made us more comfortable in that position because his faceoffs are key for us. He came in without a training camp, so it took him a little bit to get up to speed … he did well in the beginning but now he’s at his “mid-season form” so-to-speak. I think it was important that we picked him up and we do have some other players that can play in the middle if need be."
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