Chris Campoli recently filed for arbitration along with teammate Peter Regin. Although Regin and management should be able to come to terms before this whole shenanigan is done, Chris Campoli is more of a tricky situation. Camper had a disappointing season this past year, to his standards. He was acquired along with Hillary Duff Mike Comrie for Dean McAmmond and San Jose’s 1st round pick in 2009, in one of Bryan Murray’s famous desperation deals. Clearly, this one didn’t work out for the good.
Although we don’t know how Kyle Palmieri will work out, Campoli was supposed to provide an offensive punch from the backend to the lineup. Now that Erik Karlsson has blossomed into just that, and with the recent signing of Sergei Gonchar, is there room for a 5th-6th defenseman such as Chris Campoli?
Looking at our defense, these guys will be playing on the back six next season, bearing some unforeseen injury or demotion:
You can see that five of the six spots are already taken. If Campoli does get re-signed, then he will be in a battle for the sixth spot with Brian Lee, Jared Cowen, and Patrick Wiercioch. It’s never known if General Lee actually will crack the lineup, but I doubt it, even though he’s on a one-way contract. Trade bait here. Both Cowen and Wiercioch are looking promising, with Jared actually turning heads at the recent development camp. They both will be cheaper then Chris, but can they provide the same set and experience?
And then there’s always the money question. Since he and his agents have filed for arbitration, there must be a dis-agreement with the two sides. Money for a guy like Camper should be around $1.3 mil/year, but is term the problem here? The Bryan wants to lock up his young ones, but at a low price and short term, so he doesn’t get stuck with the long term effects.
There’s been ever-growing Kris Letang comparisons. In Campoli’s first 217 games in his NHL career (where Letang is at right now), Chris had 74 points. Letang has 79 points. Kris signed a 4-year, $14 million contract. I’m pretty sure that just made you puke. There is no way Chris Campoli is worth $3.5 million/year, as Letang also has a Stanley Cup Ring on his finger, but the stats don’t lie.
It’s becoming a hasty problem here. We saw what happened with Martin Havlat and when he went to arbitration. There’s no doubt that could happen to Campoli and the Sens, but right now, I’d trust Chris as my 6th defenseman, albeit at a cost.