In what is kind of a re-signing and kind of not, the Griffins today announced that right winger Colin Campbell has signed a one-year deal with the Red Wings’ AHL team. It’s not really a re-signing because the last deal Campbell was on was an entry-level deal with the Red Wings under which he was assigned to Grand Rapids. This deal is an AHL contract.
This means that the Red Wings can’t call Campbell up without signing him to at least a PTO and also means that he’ll be eligible to be signed by any NHL team who wants him throughout the season, but it also means that Campbell won’t count against the Red Wings’ 50 contract limit.
In reality, players on AHL-only contracts signing with NHL clubs doesn’t happen. For the most part, every NHL team has players in their pipeline like this and poaching from other teams’ AHL clubs just doesn’t make sense.
That’s not to say Colin Campbell isn’t a valuable hockey player or isn’t worth anything. Campbell’s contributions to the Griffins have definitely been worthwhile and that’s why Griffins’ GM Ryan Martin brought him back. Our own Stripe gave Campbell B grades in both his first and second-half report cards, saying this about the kid:
Campbell continued to build off his successful first half, providing a solid presence on the third and fourth lines as well as seizing a role as a primary penalty killer. He showed off a knack for scoring clutch goals, showing off some pretty soft hands in close. He also is difficult to play against but rarely takes a bad penalty and uses his size and frame effectively. Despite scoring a career high 10 goals, his ability to score enough to play at the next level appears to be his biggest question mark. Another year of continued development should be expected for the restricted free agent, as he is a lock to be re-signed for next season
At 25, the clock is likely ticking for Campbell to be able to grow into an NHL impact player, but he works hard for the Griffins, who are a competitive AHL team in need of solid hard-working veterans to complement some of the flashier prospects. Signing him to a deal that doesn’t cost against the Wings’ contract limit is a good move.
Ryan Sproul and Louis-Marc Aubry remain the only two unsigned RFAs in the organization.
Here’s the presser from the Griffins:
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.– The Grand Rapids Griffins have signed right wing Colin Campbell to a one-year contract.
Campbell, 25, originally joined the Griffins near the end of the 2013-14 campaign after completing his collegiate career at Lake Superior State University, and he played the last two seasons in Grand Rapids while under contract to the Detroit Red Wings.
In 127 career games with the Griffins, Campbell has registered 24 points (13-11—24) and 92 penalty minutes along with a plus-17 rating, while adding three points (1-2—3) and 11 PIM in 19 Calder Cup Playoff contests. After a rookie 2014-15 season when he chipped in five points (2-3—5) and 29 PIM in 44 appearances, he logged 70 games in 2015-16, showing 18 points (10-8—18) and 58 PIM and tying for the team lead with two shorthanded goals. Campbell also played in all nine postseason games last spring, logging two points (1-1—2).
Prior to turning pro, the Pickering, Ontario, native tallied 64 points (27-37—64) and 64 PIM in 119 games with the LSSU Lakers. He missed 30 games as a junior while recovering from surgery but bounced back to rank among the team’s leaders with 14 goals (1st), 29 points (2nd) and three game-winning goals (1st) in 36 contests as a senior.
The Griffins will begin the home portion of their 2016-17 season with Opening Night presented by Huntington Bank on Friday, Oct. 14 at Van Andel Arena. Additional home dates confirmed by the American Hockey League include Dec. 31, Jan. 7, Jan. 21, Feb. 4 and Feb. 25.
Single-game tickets will go on sale to the public in September. Fans can secure their full-season, select-season or group ticket packages by calling (616) 774-4585 ext. 2 or visit griffinshockey.com for more information.