Yesterday 11 year veteran Gregory Campbell announced his retirement although the last time he stepped on the NHL ice was in 2015-2016. Last year Campbell was the final cut for the Columbus Blue Jackets at training camp and was assigned to minor-league Cleveland where he refused to show, then was suspended without pay for failing to report, and later put on unconditional waivers to terminate his contract.
But his relationship with the Blue Jackets never ended. Campbell has now joined the team as an assistant player development coach with Chris Clark (North America) and Jarkko Ruutu (Europe) to help the organizations top prospects get ready for the NHL.
Campbell was able to end his career on a high note when he joined Canada for the annual Spengler Cup in December where he won the tournament.
Blue Jackets general manager knew this role was perfect for Campbell. “I’m a big believer that when you recognize quality individuals, you try to find a role for them and bring them in,” Kekalainen said. “When you find somebody with extraordinary character, you make room for that in your organization.”
Campbell will never go down as one of the greatest players but he was everything you could want for in a teammate and player, every game he would go out there and work his ass off in any type of role the coach put him in. In 2011 Campbell was one of the most important players on the Boston Bruins a team that went on to win the Stanley Cup. Campbell and the Bruins returned to the Stanley Cup finals in 2013 but unfortunately he never got to play in any of the Cup finals games after breaking his leg in game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals where he blocked a shot and continued to stay in the game, That performance summarized Campbell’s career and one play that earned him respect from everyone in the hockey world.