When it became apparent that the Jackets couldn't or wouldn't re-sign Mark Letestu to a deal of their liking, a replacement was needed to lock down the fourth line center spot. The Jackets found their man in Gregory Campbell, formerly of the Boston Bruins.
Campbell is known as a gritty, defensive forward and is a plus penalty-killer. He's also a great faceoff man- winning 53.6% of his draws last season. That percentage would have led the Jackets.
He won't replace Letestu's ability to move around through the lineup, but Campbell will replace the faceoffs and PK ice-time the former contributed. Campbell will keep the opposition honest in the corners, and perhaps most importantly for a young team on the rise, he's a Cup winner, in addition to winning a Memorial Cup and grabbing a silver medal at the World Juniors in 2003.
There's an opportunity for him to develop a partnership with Matt Calvert if the duo plays together on the fourth line and serves as a PK pairing. Neither player is particularly big, but they play a feisty, heavy game that can wear down the opposition. On the offensive side of the puck Campbell and Calvert can use their gritty style to make some room for the right winger on the line to potentially pot some goals. This could be an opportunity for Rene Bourque to cement himself in the lineup.
Hometown: London, Ontario
Draft Status: 2002 Third Rounder (67th, Panthers)
Cap Hit: $1.5 million