After a couple of years that included the high-paid defenseman helping lead the Panthers back to the postseason for the first time in more than a decade, Campbell has apparently had enough after back-to-back abysmal seasons with a young team.
According to Andy Strickland of True Hockey, Campbell might be looking for a way out.
Brian Campbell apparently wants out of Florida...still has two years left on contract paying north of $7 million #Panthers— Andy Strickland (@andystrickland) June 18, 2014
Of course this is a report at this point and isn't in the most forceful or direct language so don't get too excited yet.
UPDATE: Panthers writer George Richards of the Miami Herald reports Dale Tallon says no trade request has been made by Campbell.
#FlaPanthers GM Dale Tallon texted me that D Brian Campbell has not requested a trade.— George Richards (@GeorgeRichards) June 18, 2014
Campbell has a contract that was seen as pretty close to untradeable a couple of years ago but the Panthers not only wanted him as a puck-moving defenseman on the back but needed a big salary to help them reach the floor. It's that second fact that could make him more interesting to teams if he is traded.
There are only two years left on his contract at this point but the salary cap hit is still high. However the Panthers are a long way from the floor and if they were to trade Campbell, they could be very interested in retaining some of his salary not only to help make him more attractive to other teams but to help their pay roll situation. Of course with new ownership promising to spend in Florida, they might have no problem getting to the floor thanks to free agency.
Campbell is getting up there in age, having just turned 35. Still, he remains one of the smoothest skaters in the league and all things considered (playing for one of the worst teams in the NHL) is coming off a strong season in which he had 37 points. Plus, durability shouldn't be much of an issue even at his age; he hasn't missed a single game in his three seasons with the Panthers, all while averaging 26:48 of ice time per game.
One other factor in any potential deal -- if this report has any validity -- is that Campbell has a no-trade clause that's pretty restricted; down to eight teams he'd accept a deal to. Then again, he could always waive that if he indeed wants out; he did it once to execute the deal to Florida, he could certainly do it again.