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Trade Speculation: Brian Campbell

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Is Brian Campbell the defenseman that Detroit longs for? The answer is yes.

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

We're getting so close.. The NHL Trade Deadline is less than a week away, and there's still speculation on whether the Wings will be making a move or not. All signs are pointing towards a move not being made, but there is still possibilities out there. Let's talk more defense.. Today, it's Brian Campbell. He's a guy who has always been tossed around in trade rumors that involve Detroit.

Player Bio:

Birth Date: May 23, 1979 (35 years old)

Place of Birth: Strathroy, Ontario

Shoots: Left

Experience: 14 years

Drafted: Drafted by Buffalo in 1997, 156th overall.

Season Tm GP G A PTS +/- PIM
1999-00 BUF 12 1 4 5 -2 4
2000-01 BUF 8 0 0 0 -2 2
2001-02 BUF 29 3 3 6 0 12
2002-03 BUF 65 2 17 19 -8 20
2003-04 BUF 53 3 8 11 -8 12
2005-06 BUF 79 12 32 44 -14 16
2006-07 BUF 82 6 42 48 28 35
2007-08 TOTAL 83 8 54 62 8 20
2007-08 BUF 63 5 38 43 -1 12
2007-08 SJS 20 3 16 19 9 8
2008-09 CHI 82 7 45 52 5 22
2009-10 CHI 68 7 31 38 18 18
2010-11 CHI 65 5 22 27 28 6
2011-12 FLA 82 4 49 53 -9 6
2012-13 FLA 48 8 19 27 -22 12
2013-14 FLA 82 7 30 37 -6 20
2014-15 FLA 59 3 17 20 2 14

Brian Campbell is a 35 year old NHL veteran who still has gas left in the tank, no doubt in my mind. The 5'10 192 lbs Ontario-native blue liner is the ideal player to have QB your power-play, and provides boundless offensive creativity when he is on the ice, and even when he is off the ice (that's what veterans do, right?)

The Pros and Cons:

Let me get the downside to trading for him out of the way first.. His contract. He's signed through 2015-2016, which is good because it's not a rental, but his cap-hit is hefty and sits just north of $7 million. That's a large chunk of change to have invested in a player like him, and it could put Detroit in a serious bind going into next season assuming everyone is healthy. Yes, he's definitely on the wrong side of his 30's, but he's still a great hockey player. Go ahead and rid all of the "holy grail right-shot' babble we've heard so much over the past few years.. The obvious upside to acquiring him is that you now have a bonafide top-pair minute-munching defenseman who can move the puck adequately, and give you a true weapon as far as special teams go. Brian Campbell is an elite-level skater whether he has the puck or not.. Something Detroit doesn't have very much of. He's definitely that guy who could play defense fast to ensure that the Wings are always on the attack. Just think about a Kronwall - Campbell, or even DeKeyser - Campbell pairings. That's a lot of offensive potency which can change any game.

Todd Little from SB Nation's own Panthers blog, Litter Box Cats, provided us a little insight on what could make the deal happen..

What would it cost for Detroit to add Campbell? To me, it depends on if the Red Wings would require

the Panthers to retain any of his $7,142,875 salary until his contract expires after next season. If so, I’d

say it will take a first round pick, with possibly a prospect throw in as sweetener. However, if the Red

Wings are willing to pick the whole tab? It might just take a second-rounder and maybe a prospect, or

maybe not. While Campbell is still a very useful player, he is getting long-in-the-tooth and the Panthers

could spend that money in offseason to finally bring in the sniper that many feel they desperately need.

A potential Campbell to Detroit deal is one that could work out well for both sides.

So, to sum it all up:

Wings Acquire -

Brian Campbell + Retained Salary

Panthers Acquire -

1st round pick + Prospect

- OR -

Wings Acquire -

Brian Campbell (no salary retained)

Panthers acquire -

2nd round pick + Prospect

Conclusion:

I've always been very fond of Brian Campbell, so my conclusion is that you definitely make this move. However, I lean more towards the first proposal, and avoid having to soak up $7 million worth of salary next season. If I was Ken Holland, I would counter the first proposal with all of the same terms, but Florida throws their 2nd round pick to sweeten the deal. If you're wondering what kind of prospect they would be asking, it honestly beats me. I know that Florida is looking for prospect depth on the wing, so go ahead and throw in whatever would make sense to you, with reason. Players like Anthony Mantha are absolutely out of question in this, so don't yell at me. I guess what I'm saying is, if you can get a guy like Brian Campbell, salary retained, and MAYBE a 2nd round pick for a 1st round pick, and a prospect.. Why wouldn't you do that?

What do you think? Let's hear it.