For the first time in eight seasons Florida Panthers defenseman Brian Campbell will be sitting out of the NHL playoffs. The chance to keep playing while representing Canada at the IIHF World Championship at the senior level for the first time provides Campbell with a chance to end the year on positive note after the Panthers finished the 2013 campaign at the bottom of the league standings. The veteran defender has donned the maple leaf once before as a member of Canada’s 1999 World Junior Championship entry in Winnipeg. That team captured a silver medal so the Cats blueliner will be looking to add one of the gold-variety to his trophy case this time around.
Despite a disappointing season from a team perspective, Campbell managed to finish third on the Panthers in scoring, with 27 points (8G/19A), while appearing in all 48 games. The 8 goals were twice as many as he scored during the entire 2011-12 season. That he accomplished this feat in 34 less games could mean there is more to come next season and his career high of 12 goals could very well be eclipsed.
Team Canada begins group play on May 4th with what should be a very winnable game against Denmark.
Other Panthers confirmed to join Campbell in Stockholm/Helsinki are Nick Bjugstad (USA), Tomas Fleischmann (Czech Republic), Marcel Goc (Germany), Tomas Kopecky (Slovakia) and Jacob Markstrom (Sweden).