|The re-signing of Chris Campoli to a new one-year contract adds more mobility to an already deep Ottawa Senators blue-line brigade (Photo by Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images). |
Call it a good Friday, indeed, for Chris Campoli and the Ottawa Senators.
Three weeks after celebrating his 26th birthday, the Senators defenceman got himself a belated bonus gift by inking a one-year contract with the team earlier today. The agreement also allowed both sides to avoid an arbitration hearing set for Wednesday in Toronto.
"I'm thrilled to get it done, finally," Campoli said after putting his name to the new deal. "I didn't anticipate it being a big problem and it wasn't. We just came to an agreement that we felt was fair to both sides."
Senators general manager Bryan Murray, who also averted the arbitration process with Peter Regin
by re-signing the Danish forward on Thursday, echoed Campoli's sentiments.
"As a defenceman, we knew we'd have to pay a reasonable price for him," said Murray. "I know we're happy to get it done ahead of time and we hope he fits nicely into our defensive corps. We like him because (of his) mobility.
"Going to arbitration is never easy or nice and I'm real happy to get it completed."
Though the contract is only for one year, Campoli sees it as a chance to "go out and prove myself" again.
"You never stop that in this game. I'm a big believer in that," the Mississauga, Ont., native said in a radio interview with the Team 1200. "I'm going to try to go out and have a good year and if I do that, I'll earn the right to be rewarded. I see it as an opportunity and I'm excited.
"I want to build off the last two, 2-1/2 months of my season last year. I thought I played pretty well and contributed on a nightly basis to the club. That's what I want to continue to do and have an impact on this team in a positive way."
"I felt like Cory (head coach Clouston) put me into some situations where I could be successful," said Campoli. "I just simplified my game. I just went out and played. It's a tough thing, sometimes, to figure out why things go well and why things don't. I just came in like a professional every day and worked hard to be successful. I played with that inner confidence and I'm going to try to build off that this year." - Chris Campoli
Campoli played his best hockey of the season after the Olympic break, despite dealing with a sports hernia injury that required off-season surgery. It was an ailment, he revealed today, that nagged him for most of the 2009-10 campaign.
"It was something I thought I could play through and, along with the team, we just decided if I could play through it, I would," Campoli told the Team 1200. "It's one of those things that, sometimes it's there and sometimes it's not as painful. Overall, it was pretty much consistently there but it's not an excuse — at the end of the year, I went out and played my best hockey.
"But I'm 100 per cent healthy now and I feel good about it. I can come in with an open mind and a clear head and just get off to a good start this year."
He'll also arrive at camp brimming with a confidence in his game fuelled, in great part, by his strong finish to 2009-10.
"I felt like Cory (head coach Clouston) put me into some situations where I could be successful," said Campoli. "I just simplified my game. I just went out and played. It's a tough thing, sometimes, to figure out why things go well and why things don't. I just came in like a professional every day and worked hard to be successful. I played with that inner confidence and I'm going to try to build off that this year.
"I've had a good off-season and I'm 100 per cent healthy ... I feel like that's something that's out of the way now and I can just come in and play my game and not have to worry about that stuff. That's going to help me help the team."