With an eight-year deal in hand and another solid season in the works, Blackhawks defenseman Brian Campbell figures he’s going to be in Chicago for a while.
So why not give back?
After an optional skate Tuesday at the United Center, Campbell announced that he has created a foundation, “Campbell for Kids,” to benefit charities that help children with special needs. The first year of the foundation will focus on raising money for autism research.
“I was given the gift of being able to play hockey and I was able to be in Chicago and sign a long-term contract,” Campbell said. “For myself, I always wanted to give back. I feel fortunate being here in a great city.
“All the money is going to stay in Chicago that is raised through the foundation.”
Signed to bolster a power play and for his offensive skills, Campbell has become one of the Hawks’ most consistent performers with 29 points and an impressive plus-18 rating through 46 games.
His first event will be a Texas Hold’em Tournament on Feb. 10 at Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Ind. The inaugural event will benefit the Chicagoland Chapter of Autism Speaks. Tickets cost $115 and the tournament buy-in is $125. There will also be food, entertainment and auctions.
Campbell said he expects coach Joel Quenneville and “80 percent” of his teammates, including Brent Seabrook, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, to participate in it. Other local celebrities are also expected to play.
“[I’m] looking forward to having a lot of fun at it,” said Campbell, who started a golf tournament when he was with the Buffalo Sabres to benefit a special-education school. “Talking to the guys this morning, a lot of them are pretty excited and maybe we’ll show off our talents on stage with the band.”
As for the best poker player, Campbell gives himself the nod.
“A few guys play some cards on the team, but I’d say the best nod might have to go to myself,” Campbell said. “I’m going to go all in to begin with.”