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Bruins’ Campbell may be moving from center to wing

Aug 6, 2014, 9:40 PM EST

Riley Sheahan, Gregory Campbell Getty Images

Boston Bruins forward Gregory Campbell has been known for his faceoff prowess on the fourth line, but he could be moving to the wing next season and he’s OK with that.

As D.J. Bean of WEEI in Boston shared, Campbell discussed his possible move off the pivot and he said he’s willing to do whatever it takes to keep going.

“I’ve been a center for the last four years, but I’€™m not going to [demand anything]. I want to be in a spot where I can complement other guys,” Campbell said. “If they throw me with whoever it is and I have to play wing and we’™re a successful line, then so be it. That’€™s where I want to be. I have played center for a long time, so it may take me a few games, but I’™m sure I can do it.”

The Bruins haven’t done anything drastic this offseason aside from losing Jarome Iginla to the Colorado Avalanche and Shawn Thornton to the Florida Panthers. They have young guys that will likely have to jump into the lineup and fill out ranks and that includes centers Ryan Spooner and Alexander Khokhlachev.

If they force their way into the Bruins lineup, having Campbell slide over to the wing will help them adapt.

  1. lowenni - Aug 6, 2014 at 10:01 PM

    Wouldn’t they want smaller, less defensively responsible youngsters like Spooner or Khovalchev starting on the wing instead of moving Campbell from his strong spot?

    • t1pp3 - Aug 6, 2014 at 10:30 PM

      I would imagine the idea is to have Kelly drop down and centre the 4th line giving them a decent checking line to play some of the hard defensive minutes there are left over from Bergeron’s line. Having Kelly replacing Thornton on the 4th line would be a vast improvement over last season.

      This would let them move some of their young guys into wing positions on the 3rd line with Soderberg replacing Loui (1st line) and Kelly (4th line) respectively.

      • shaundre93 - Aug 6, 2014 at 11:15 PM

        There’s also the chance that Spooner centers that line. I still believe the B’s are better off without Kelly at this point, and I know they are doing all they can not to move Spooner to wing as they see him as a career C (possible Krejci replacement?) and he’s been working a lot on face-offs and D zone stuff. Time will tell though… Unfortunately there’s still way to much time :P

      • Moop - Aug 6, 2014 at 11:52 PM

        I know they don’t want to play Spooner on the wing, but I don’t think you can argue that Soderberg should be moved back to wing, and I don’t really see the offensive merits of him centering Gregory Campbell and Dan Paille/Chris Kelly on the fourth line. I’d rather have a more lethal third line featuring Spooner on the wing.

        Both Soderberg and Krejci’s contracts are up after this upcoming season, so if Spooner can prove himself he’s a very good candidate to immediately replace Soderberg if he wants a huge raise and Chiarelli can’t work it out, or if things get disastrous with Krejci and he hits the free agent market. I think they can afford to let Spooner wait a year on center; however, if they really want him there, just tell him he has to outplay Soderberg.

  2. montrealknowledge - Aug 6, 2014 at 10:22 PM

    Go HABS.

  3. titansbro - Aug 6, 2014 at 11:31 PM

    Cut or trade Chris Kelly. Seriously overpaid. Trade Marchand while you’re at it. That would free up some cap space, which of course, is too late to use. Peter Chiarelli might be the most overrated GM in hockey.

    • nunan - Aug 6, 2014 at 11:42 PM

      Not going to agree or disagree with your feelings on Kelly bc I think that’s a legitimate gripe. Trading Marchand is stupid though so I will call you out on that. That’s one of those fantasy hockey moves.

  4. nunan - Aug 6, 2014 at 11:52 PM

    Just based on the comments coming from the team, I assume the following:

    Lucic-Krejci-Eriksson
    Marchand-Bergeron-Smith
    rookie-Soderberg-Kelly
    Paille-rookie-Campbell

    Kelly played with Soderberg last year and they can’t stash Spooner in Providence much longer. Khokhlachev was apparently working on the wing a lot towards the end of last year so maybe he fills in on the wing. Eriksson has been a pretty consistent 70 point guy most of his career. Based on his past, I would take last year as a bump in the road vs what you should expect from now on. Not saying this lineup is what I want but that’s the feeling I get from how they speak about the lineup next season.

    This is just the next stage for the Bs. The longer a team stays together, the tougher it gets to keep everyone and stay under the cap. Have to eventually let the rookies in to save money.

    • bildomatic - Aug 7, 2014 at 11:16 AM

      Matt Lindblad got a long look last year in the preseason, he could be a sleeper to snag that 4th line center role. To me it depends how they want to utilize guys, I could also see Fraser slotting in on the 3rd line and Spooner as the 4th line center if they are comfortable with him there.

  5. yette1 - Aug 7, 2014 at 6:14 AM

    Got to agree with the article, the Bs have done absolutely nothing this off season.

    At this point, I really wish the Bs had Seguin and not Eriksson.

    • govtminion - Aug 7, 2014 at 6:57 AM

      If it were as simple as that, I’d agree. But I’d take Eriksson AND Smith over Seguin still, even with last season in mind.

    • pats2001 - Aug 7, 2014 at 11:34 AM

      i think time may tell that trading seguin was a bad move. i was all for it at the time, but after seeing the B’s in the playoffs, its clear they are a SLOW team. they really dont have anyone that can motor. granted, seguin just may not have fit in their system and i do realize that he didnt really do much in the playoffs for dallas, but they may have pulled the trigger too fast. hate to say it, but my expectations for this coming season are minimal at best. they have no speed and from what i see, they have a bunch of guys that are destined to be 3rd or 4th liners or tweeners. i also realize that they are in a brutal cap situation. who knows, maybe they’ll make a trade at the deadline or whatever, but i just dont see them going deep in the playoffs with this roster

      • pepper2011 - Aug 7, 2014 at 1:51 PM

        They aren’t that slow. They really aren’t. I am sick of hearing about the B’s speed. Krejci didn’t do anything, Marchand didn’t do anything, and Lucic did very little, Rask was just ok, and they were playing with 4 rookie dmen. They can’t win every year. They have been there 2/4 years with a win. Kings and Hawks are the only team that claim better.

        They were supposed to not be able to keep up with the Wings and they ran through them.
        It wasn’t speed against the Habs. It was tough luck and composure. They get away from their game against the Canadiens. A couple posts into goals and it’s a completely different series and they probably meet the Kings in the finals.

        Kadri, Kessel, Bozak can all burn and that really hasn’t got the Leafs anywhere.

        They lost to Canadiens. They didn’t get any luck, and they didn’t play their best hockey. The Habs didn’t dominate them. Dale Weise won 2 games for the. Let me say that again – Dale Weise. Ship happens.

        They were down two of their Top 6 d men and playing with basically 4 rookies on D (Hamilton, Krug, Bart, Miller). Those guys are maturing; they also have Seidenberg and Mcquaid back. Also – not a big fan of Chris Kelly, but he’s a heck of a lost faster than Caron or Thornton.

        This team will be fine. They will make some moves, but they have a few guys that are going to be legit forwards. They are not all Tweeners.

        Reilly Smith has as many playoff goals (last year) as Seguin in his last 40+ playoff games. Seguin is a no show in the playoffs. He had two GREAT games against Tampa his rookie year, and then a whole lot of goose eggs.

        Soderberg, Smith and Eriksson should all better.

      • pepper2011 - Aug 7, 2014 at 2:09 PM

        Kind of sick of hearing about how much of a difference Seguin would make.

        He is Kessel, but Kessel shows up in big games. Seguin does not.

        Kessel has 13g 8a 21pts in 22 career playoff games = .95ppg / .59gpg
        Seguin has 7g 14a 21pts in 48 career playoff games = .44ppg / .15gpg
        4g 11a 15pts in LAST 46 playoff games = .32ppg / .09gpg
        Smith has 4g 1a 5 pts in 12 career playoff games = .41ppg / .33gpg

        3g and 3a – 6pts from Seguin came in his first two playoff games.

      • gallyhatch - Aug 7, 2014 at 3:06 PM

        Yeah, the Bruins really missed Seguin and his regular season numbers this year. They could have finished the season in a much better position going into the playoffs.

        They really missed his post season numbers too ……….

        (Smh)

    • pepper2011 - Aug 7, 2014 at 1:26 PM

      Not much they could have done.

      They were the best team in hockey last year during the regular season and I don’t think losing Iginla and replacing him with a healthy Eriksson is a downgrade. Not a lot of teams are going to succeed in the playoffs on their 9th dman. Seidenberg hurt. A lot. Mcquaid too, but to a lesser degree.

      They will make a move – PC has said so. They have some tough decisions to make and I’m glad they didn’t do anything rash.

      Krejci is up at the end of the year, and if Stansny and O’Reilly are any indication; I don’t see how the B’s retain him. They need to see what they have with Soderberg, khokhlachev, and Spooner.

      I could see the B’s holding him or moving him.

      The guys you will see this year (Spooner, khokhlachev, Lindblad, Florek, Camara, Fraser & Griffith) are the Marchand, Krejci, Lucic and Sobotka’s of 2007.

      Only this time the core is much stronger and they have been able to allow them to mature. I am sure not all of them will pan out, but that list doesn’t include any of their young D, Pasternak, or Subban.

      PIPE DREAM:
      Tavares gets fed up with NYI’s and the B’s can put together a package for him.

  6. pats2001 - Aug 7, 2014 at 3:45 PM

    gallyhatch….ha, yeah Eriksson was a force to be reckoned with in the playoffs too. and yeah they couldnt have finished in a better position standings wise heading into the playoffs…but look at how far it got them. and sorry pepper2011, i hate the habs and their pu$$y fans more than most people from boston do, but the B’s got outskated and outplayed for pretty much the entire series about the habs. yes, they had awful puck luck, but they didnt play hard enough to deserve any either

    and i’m not suggesting that they should win the cup every single year. i’ve had high expectations for this team for the last five years based on their performance. however, based on their performance against the habs, the fact that they lost iginla, chara is getting close to being a dinosaur, they didnt make any significant moves this offseason, we have no idea how these young guys will be, and that their cap situation is horrendous, my expectations will be managed this season. and they are not a fast skating team. lets not kid ourselves with that

    • gallyhatch - Aug 7, 2014 at 4:12 PM

      What’s your point? Are you saying they would have done better with Seguin instead of Smith & Eriksson?

      I would respectfully disagree.

      The Bruins sucked against the Habs, you’ll get no argument from me on that one. I just think it’s pure stupidity to suggest Seguin would have made any difference.

      • pats2001 - Aug 7, 2014 at 4:43 PM

        my point would be that we may look back a few years from now and realize that trading seguin was a mistake. he’s only going to get better and fill out and mature physically, he’s still only 22 years old. as i said above, i realize he didnt have a great series against dallas and he clearly was non existent in the playoffs his last year in boston. alls i’m saying is that the B’s brass may have pulled the trigger on him a little early. reilly smith had a great and unexpected year, but he also fell off big time down the stretch. eriksson had a rough go with the head injuries etc…hopefully we’ll get to see how he does with a full healthy season and that smith keeps getting better. and fraser looked solid too so maybe he’ll be a good fit. but at the end of the day, its hard to find someone with the speed and skill of seguin. and i’m on the record that i fully supported the trade when it happened. just looking back on it after a year in the books and my opinion has changed slightly….for now

      • Moop - Aug 7, 2014 at 5:08 PM

        I firmly believe that between Ryan Spooner and whoever else takes the other currently open forward spot (unless it possesses Julien to play Caron on the fourth line), the Bruins can replace Iginla’s thirty goals scored last year. Expect Eriksson to have upwards of twenty goals as well playing with Krejci.

        Chara is getting old and slower, but he’s still a force for the time being. Luckily, Seidenberg will be back from injury and hopefully back to form, and barring a trade, Johnny Boychuk is still a great third defenseman. Judging by Dougie Hamilton’s play from the second half of last season onwards, this year will be a breakout year for him. Krug will be a year older and hopefully has gained more experience in being responsible defensively. Between a healthy McQuaid, Kevan Miller, Bartkowki and possibly Warsofsky (though I hope at least one of the last two are traded), the Bruins have a pretty good selection for their 6th defenseman.

        They were not a particularly fast skating team last year with Iginla on it. Unfortunately, Eriksson on the first line doesn’t really solve that problem; he’s a lot slower than I thought he was when they first acquired him. Ryan Spooner is fast and he has a subtle little deke that seemed to freeze some defenders during his games with the Bruins last season though; Smith, Marchand, Krejci, and Khokhlachev are other forwards that can turn on the speed too. They also have some very mobile defenders, especially if they decide to keep Bartkowski.

        Cap problems aside, I still think the Bruins are the team to beat in the East.

      • gallyhatch - Aug 7, 2014 at 5:36 PM

        pats2001, you’re entitled to your opinion, I just don’t understand your logic. How this year could change your opinion on the Seguin trade is beyond me.

        As we already established, Boston won the President’s Trophy, they could not have done any better in the regular season. How would Seguin have helped?

        As pepper noted, Reilly Smith scored as many goals in 12 playoff games this year than Seguin has in his last 40+.
        What have you seen in Seguin’s post season play that makes you think he would have made a difference & helped them get past the Habs? I remember him being asleep at the wheel against the Hawks a year ago. . . . he was a train wreck.

        I do agree with you that time will tell; anybody declaring a winner in this trade after only one year is pretty short-sighted . . . we may look back in 5 years and regret the trade, but do you really think Seguin was going to become a 45 goal / year player on the Bruins? I don’t think he was ever going to become an elite NHL goal scorer for Boston. . . . even if he does in Dallas, I don’t think it would have happened here.

        They might have traded Seguin too soon, but I think that if they waited one more year and he played another regular & post season like he did in 2013, his trade value would have dropped even further.

        In my opinion they traded him just in time.

    • pepper2011 - Aug 7, 2014 at 4:40 PM

      Yeah – you said it. The were outplayed by the Canadiens. That’s all. One bad series by against a rival. They lost in game 7. They crapped themselves in MTL (game 6)and then couldn’t get back to it in.

      Other than Subban who is a great skater on that team?

      They were beat by Briere and Weise that to me – is out hustled and out worked.

      Seguin wouldn’t have fixed that.

      Give Eriksson another year. You don’t put up 3 straight 25g 45a seasons in a row by mistake. He got off a little slow (new system, B’s system is tough due to emphasis on D) and then John Scott
      crushed him. He started getting ok and Orpik crushed him. He was a different player after the Olympics. 70pts might be a stretch, but 20g 35a is very real possibility. Also playing with Krejci and Lucic is a lot different than Chris Kelly.

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