The Los Angeles Kings re-signed another key member of the Manchester Monarchs. Defenseman Andrew Campbell and the Kings agreed to terms on a two-year contract supplying the organization with depth at the defense that is sure to be needed throughout the regular season and another run for the Stanley Cup.
Campbell finished the 2011-12 season with a career-high 17 assists and 19 points and was one of only two Monarchs (Thomas Hickey) to appear in all 76 games last season. He was also continuously called upon to shut down the top opposing offensive players in almost every possible situation.
The 6-foot-3, 207 pound blueliner’s value on the ice was recognized when he was recalled to the Kings following the conclusion of the Monarchs post-season run. Campbell was recalled as one of the Kings’ “Black Aces” who practice in Los Angeles with the team and serve as one of the emergency back-up players in the playoffs.
“It was a great experience to be around NHL playoff hockey and to see how intense and competitive the games are,” said Campbell of his time in Los Angeles. “Obviously, I had a great group of guys to be there with so we all enjoyed it together.”
Campbell has been patiently waiting his turn to be with the Kings but says he was excited to see many of his friends and former teammates win the Stanley Cup.
“You are proud of all the guys that you have played with in the past and battled with in the past and to see them get rewarded and lift the Cup was pretty cool,” explained Campbell. “I played with Slava (Voynov) a couple years as ‘D’ partners. I played with (Alec) Martinez, (Davis) Drewiske, (Kevin Westgarth) Westy, (Dwight King) Kinger and (Jordan) Nolan and all those guys that have been a part of the Monarchs the last few years. It is a pretty cool feeling to see them achieve their dream since they were little kids.”
Campbell’s signing came about a two weeks after teammates and his roommates, center Marc-Andre Cliche and left wing Rich Clune, re-signed with the Kings. Their signing with the Kings only reconfirmed where Campbell wanted to be entering the 2012-13 season.
“Obviously, when they re-sign two guys like that who are two very high character guys and two team first guys,” said Campbell. “They are both really good friends of mine so when I saw them come back, I knew things were good. I kind of knew all along with where I was going to be.”
Campbell has never been shy about sacrificing his body to block shots. If there is something Campbell can do to help the team win games, he will do. However, it does not come with out with a price as he takes his fair share of bumps and bruises throughout the grind of the season.
“I am feeling great,” said Campbell of his healing body. “I have been training hard and trying to get bigger and get stronger, so I feel really good with where I am at right now and hopefully I come into training camp and have a positive one and perform really well.”
Look for many of the Kings prospects to battle for what few roster spots there may be with the Kings in training camp this September.