Brian Campbell is typically cited as a player that has one of the more bloated contracts around the NHL, but it’d be impossible to replace what he brings to the ice for the Florida Panthers on a nightly basis. Since he arrived in the Sunshine State, few players in the league have matched him in minutes played.
No one played more than Campbell back in 2011-12. He was third in minutes played last year, and he’s logging just as many minutes now despite his age. He’s 34-years-old now, yet he’s still a remarkably consistent presence on a team that is lacking those in Florida.
The defenseman spoke to George Richards of The Miami Herald about his high playing time:
You do what you have to do, I think. You don’t control [the minutes] so you try to get a lot of rest, a lot of pills — the legal ones. I try to take care of myself and you learn over the years.
Peter Horachek also spoke to the Herald, and stressed Campbell’s importance in Florida:
He’s been really good for us and me. He’s out there playing all the time, half the game. He’s certainly pushing the envelope. He wants the guys to win, he wants to do the right things. When I give a message, he reaffirms the message. He’s been really good.
To that end, the Panthers have slowly improved their level of play under Horachek. They are 7-3-0 in their last 10, and are now only eight points out of the last wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.