Gregory Campbell of the Boston Bruins has been trying to stay in game-ready shape during the NHL lockout by practicing at Boston University, but there's only so much that practicing can do to keep a player in tiptop form. Simply put, nothing compares to a real game.
Of course, being that the NHL is still locked out--although recent marathon negotiation sessions have shown promise on the labor front--Campbell must look to foreign shores for potential game action. He's considering the Czech team HC Mountfield, the team where his fellow Bruin Andrew Ference is currently playing.
Mountfield is currently on a game break that will last until Nov. 14, at which time Ference and his European teammates will return to the ice. On the roster, Ference is the only player who is not from the Czech Republic or Slovakia, meaning that there could be space for Campbell to join and play.
Mountfield might also be able to use Campbell's abilities. The team is currently in 10th place out of 14 overall and has 45 goals scored to its name, which sounds good until you look up at first-place HC Plzen, 71 goals scored. Campbell had eight goals and eight assists last season, but 13 goals and 16 assists during the 2010-11 regular season, so he does have a certain scoring touch. Keep in mind that he's deployed on Boston's fourth line but could play a different, larger role with Mountfield.
It could be good for Campbell to get some more playing experience under his belt before the eventual start of an NHL season, however it may look. If he goes, he'll make it 11 Bruins to seek work elsewhere. I think part of that is a desire to stay in top shape, a certain degree of boredom with shooting at posts inside the BU hockey facilities and the need to make some money. Still, for Bruins fans everywhere, it will be nice to eventually see these guys called back to America and begin playing with Boston again.
Emma Harger is a Boston Bruins fan who also covers the team for Examiner and Rant Media Group.
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- Andrew Ference