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Brian Campbell Returning To Blackhawks On 1-Year Deal

(CBS) The Blackhawks have nabbed their primary target in free agency.

Chicago and defenseman Brian Campbell have agreed to a one-year deal, the team announced Friday. The deal is expected to be for around $2 million, according to ESPN's Pierre LeBrun.

After a season in which the Blackhawks' blue line was exposed and stretched thin too often, the 37-year-old Campbell figures to strengthen the unit, slotting in as the fourth defenseman behind Duncan Keith, Niklas Hjalmarsson and Brent Seabrook. He'll give coach Joel Quenneville more options, as he could pair with Seabrook to form a strong second defensive pairing or the two could be split up to give the second and third lines more depth.

Campbell also has the puck-moving skills that are valued in defenseman in today's game. A former Blackhawk who was part of the 2010 Stanley Cup-winning team, Campbell had 31 points (six goals, 25 assists) while playing in all 82 games last season. He's a four-time All-Star, most recently in 2012, and has played the past five seasons for the Florida Panthers.

Campbell ranks seventh among active defensemen with 1,002 career games played.

Unless a trade is made, Campbell figures to be Chicago's most high-profile signing in free agency, as the Blackhawks have little financial flexibility in having to stay under the $73 million salary cap.

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