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Campoli feeling right at home with Senators

by Rob Brodie / Ottawa Senators
Chris Campoli has found his ideal fit with Ottawa and the Senators.

The 26-year-old native of Mississauga, Ont., likes the idea that his current hockey home isn’t far from the place where he grew up. And the Senators have themselves a defenceman with the package of offensive skills and mobility that suits the game in the National Hockey League today.

Acquired from the New York Islanders in a four-player trade on Feb. 20, 2009, Campoli has embarked into his second full season with the Senators and is the team’s representative on the NHL Players’ Association executive.

Campoli talks about hockey, his other favourite sport and a whole lot more.

Q: You’re the Senators’ team representative for the players’ association. What does that involve?
A: I’m basically the connection between my teammates and the union. Throughout the year, there are executive board (conference) calls and each team has a member. I’m involved in the core issues of the union and different things you vote upon. I take my job pretty seriously as a rep. It’s extremely important for every player in the union to know what’s going on in the union. I’m a big believer in that.

Q: Have you always had an interest in this kind of thing?
A: It’s important to be involved and know what’s going on in the union. When I got traded here, I wanted to take another step in that direction, being more involved that way. Chris Phillips wanted to step down as the rep and become the assistant rep. I said I wanted to do it and last season was a feeling out process and a learning process for me. I know it pretty well now and I really enjoy it.

Q: You’ve been in Ottawa for a couple of seasons now. How much do you enjoy living in the city?
A: I really like living in Ottawa and playing here. Personally, it’s my pace and it’s close to home. It’s been nothing but great playing here and the organization is first class.

Q: You’re a big baseball fan. How did that get started?
A: I grew up playing baseball. Since I was two, I had a ball in my hands and a hockey stick. I played baseball in the summer and hockey in the winter. Growing up, I just loved the game. My dad played, so I used to go the park when I was young. If I wasn’t playing hockey, I think I’d be playing baseball. I have that love for it.

Q: Being from the Toronto area, you’re no doubt a Blue Jays fan?
A: Yes, I’m a Jays fan. I support the home team, the team that I grew up watching. They had a lot of success when I was young, so it was a really fun time.

Q: What do you remember about their two World Series wins in 1992 and 1993?
A: I was probably eight and nine years old, so I didn’t celebrate to the extent that a lot of other people did. Looking back, from what I can remember, it was a very special thing. Toronto hadn’t seen a championship in a long time as a city and it was good to finally get one.

Q: How do you think Ottawa would react if the Senators brought home a Stanley Cup?
A: I think this city would react the way Toronto did when the Jays won or maybe a lot like Chicago did when the Blackhawks won (the Stanley Cup in June). People here are very passionate about their team and as a player, coming to work every day and knowing that helps you motivate yourself and push yourself to be better. There’s nothing wrong with that expectation of winning.

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