Brian Campbell retires, joins Blackhawks’ front office

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Brian Campbell played 1,082 games in his 17-year NHL career. (Getty Images)

Brian Campbell said repeatedly last season that he was only going to return for an 18th NHL season if it was with the Blackhawks. Well, the Hawks didn’t have a spot for him on their blue line, but they did have one in the front office.

Campbell announced his retirement Monday and will join the Hawks’ business operations department, where he will assist with marketing, community relations and youth hockey initiatives.

“I’m excited to transition into the next step in my professional career and life,” Campbell said. “I’m grateful to the countless number of teammates, coaches, team staff and fans I have crossed paths with throughout my career in Chicago, Buffalo, Florida and San Jose. The Blackhawks’ organization has allowed me to take on this challenge, and I’m thankful for this new opportunity.”

A four-time All-Star who had the primary assist on Patrick Kane’s Stanley Cup-winning goal in 2010, Campbell returned to the Hawks last season on a cheap one-year deal, eager to return to his adopted hometown of Chicago. He and his family settled in Western Springs during his first stint with the Hawks from 2008 to 2011, and while he proved he can still play at the NHL level, he had no desire to leave the Chicago area.

“You’ve got to want to do it,” Campbell said at the end of the season. “I still feel like I can do a lot of things in this league. . . . I’ve got to see if I’m looked at as a player who can help this team.”

Follow me on Twitter @MarkLazerus.

Email: mlazerus@suntimes.com

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