NHL league sources are reporting that Blackhawks defenseman Brian Campbell has broken a collarbone and rib and will likely miss the rest of the season, including playoffs, after a cheap shot from Alexander Ovechkin in Sunday’s 4-3 loss to the Capitals.
The story was initially reported by Hendricks Hockey.
The Blackhawks are now forced to scramble to put together a defensive group behind the already-tired Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook. Niklas Hjalmarsson and Brent Sopel have both missed time because of injuries this year and, because they block a lot of shots, are banged up a lot. Jordan Hendry hasn’t dressed for most of the team’s games this year.
The most likely scenario is that the Hawks will place Nick Boynton, acquired before the trade deadline, on waivers Monday in hopes that he clears and can join the team on the road trip before Wednesday’s game against Anaheim.
Adding Boynton from Rockford doesn’t help the Hawks’ defensive issues, though. Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook are both playing too many minutes, and it’s starting to show in the quality of their play. Niklas Hjalmarsson hasn’t been a 23-minute-per-night guy yet in his career, but might be in the wake of this devastating news. Campbell was playing well for the Hawks this year, playing only two seconds per game less than Seabrook.