Brian Campbell still lives in Chicago in the offseason, so he took Jonathan Toews up on his invite to the Stanley Cup party at the Blackhawks captain’s house. Seeing the Cup — somebody else’s Cup, this time — was a bittersweet experience for Campbell, who was part of the Hawks’ 2010 championship squad.
“I still didn’t want to go near it,” Campbell said. “I was happy to be able to enjoy it, and I was happy for him and a few of the guys that I played with there. It’s great for them, it’s great for the city. But definitely, deep down inside, you’re jealous. I think anybody, I don’t care who you are, you want it. You want another crack at it.”
Campbell is one of three ex-Hawks, along with Kris Versteeg and Tomas Kopecky, who’ll be facing their old teammates tonight as the Hawks visit the Florida Panthers. And while they’re happy to see their old friends, the matchup underscores just how far removed from the championship the Panthers are. Florida was dead last in the NHL last season with 36 points in 48 games.
“I would love for us to be in their position,” Kopecky said. “We have to earn that right.”
It’s fun for the Hawks, too.
“It’s been a few years, but I still keep in touch with some of them,” Marian Hossa said. “It’s always nice to get games like that.”
It wasn’t nice last time for Campbell. Their last meeting was on Jan. 21, 2012, in the middle of a snowstorm in Chicago. Compounding matters, Campbell was sick.
“I was throwing up most of the game,” Campbell said. “The snowstorm, and that. Wasn’t fun last time. Definitely a game to forget.”
He’s hoping for a better experience tonight.
“It’s always great, with me being there in the offseason and spending time with the guys that still play there,” Campbell said. “It’s always a special game. … I think any time you win a championship, you have a special bond, so it’ll be fun to get the opportunity to go against them.”