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Their Emblems Built of Garbage – ’18-’19 Blackhawks Player Previews: David Kampf

More like David CAN’T, AMIRITE? I’m sorry. I’m so very sorry. But it was right there on a tee. You would have done it too. OK anyway, David Kampf is one of those on-the-bubble guys who could play on the bottom six, could be sent down to the Ice Hogs, and will probably do a bit of both. He’s naturally a center and it would seem the Hawks are settled on Toews, Anisimov and Kruger, (and hopefully Schmaltz, wtf THIS ONE IS EASY GUYS) so Kampf will likely play wing, unless someone on that list totally craps the bed or Q continues with this nonsense of Schmaltz on the wing (both are a real possibility). Let’s look closer:

2017-18 Stats

46 GP – 4 G – 7 A

51.6 CF% – 46.0 oZS% – 54.0 dZS%

12:48 Avg. TOI

A Brief History. A fresh-faced youngster from the Czech Republic, Kampf turned out to be a serviceable bottom-six guy last season. He centered Sharp and Top Cat, and at times Top Cat and Our Cousin Vinny (skypoint) during Q’s obnoxious third-line experimentation. He was also competent in the defensive zone, taking the majority of his starts there while maintaining a respectable 51.6 CF%. His point totals weren’t lighting the world on fire, but for a bottom-six guy that’s kind of what you’re stuck with. He had 11 points in 46 games with the Hawks, and 19 in 45 games total with the Hogs during the season, including the AHL playoffs. He even scored his first-ever NHL goal on his birthday—how fucking adorable is that?

It Was the Best of Times. The best-case scenario here kinda depends on who you are. If you’re David Kampf, it would be for Anisimov to get hurt or just to suck something awful, and he ends up as the 3C. Now, if Anisimov gets hurt, meh, that happened last year and Kampf filled in just fine. But if he sucks something awful for the amount of time it takes Q to finally demote him and his wide dick to the press box, it’s going to be quite painful for the rest of us.

There’s been all sorts of weirdness with the lines lately, and not that any of it should be taken as gospel, but another decent outcome would be for Kampf to play wing on Kruger’s line, hopefully with someone not named Andreas Martinsen. He could center the third line with Brandon Saad and Chris Kunitz (for the record I am against this idea of Saad on the third line but it seems to be a thing happening, shitty performance last night notwithstanding), he could center Dylan Sikura and John Hayden, or there could be some other random combination. The bottom six are still a game of Tetris right now where no one’s entirely sure who will fit where except for Kruger as one of the two centers. But if Kampf is decent enough to contribute in any meaningful way, that will be a win for the Hawks. Penalty killing would be nice, given his apparent comfort in the defensive zone and not-wretched faceoff numbers. At 6’2” and a shade under 200 lbs. he’s not a complete oaf and seems to have decent speed.

It Was the BLURST of Times. Conversely, the worst-case scenario would be that Kampf is the one who sucks something awful and he lands a permanent spot on the Ice Hogs. The Hawks could use depth in the forward corps…I know it’s not as dismal as the defensive situation, but this team will be lucky to make the playoffs and we need pleasant surprises and lucky breaks wherever we can find them. Having another young prospect turn out to be a quadruple-A guy does nothing for anyone.

Prediction. Kampf will likely be closer to quadruple-A than anything else. Maybe I’m just being a pessimist (duh), but I think he’ll fill up space when Anisimov gets hurt—which he will, he has the last few years and it’s going to happen again—but Kampf won’t break out for a crazy number of goals or anything like that. He’ll score about 15 points, will be a decent journeyman, and probably not much else. Not that I got anything against the guy—I actually think it’s cute how Jan Rutta is his little translator friend, because if I had to give interviews in a foreign language I would be terrified beyond belief and I admire anyone who figures out a way to get through it (this makes me hate Rutta less at the same time). But I’m a black-hearted realist as well, so I’m taking the under on this one.

Previous Player Previews

Corey Crawford

Cam Ward

Duncan Keith

Connor Murphy

Brent Seabrook

Brandon Manning

Jan Rutta

Erik Gustafsson

Henri Jokiharju

Nick Schmaltz

Alex DeBrincat

Chris Kunitz

Artem Anisimov

Marcus Kruger

Victor Ejdsell

Jonathan Toews

Brandon Saad

John Hayden

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