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A CANDID CAMPBELL

A CANDID CAMPBELL

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GREGORY CAMPBELL

 
Q.   Gregory, how are you?  Take us through what happened.  What have your emotions been like over this ride here?

GREGORY  CAMPBELL:   I  feel  good.   I mean, it’s been eight or nine days.   I  had the surgery a week ago Monday.  Obviously naturally you have that progression where there’s a little bit of pain coming out of surgery.       But  everybody  did a great job, treated me extremely well.  The pain
subsided very quickly.  There’s not much I can do at this point.  Just kind
of let it heal.
The emotional part of it, I mean, we’re in the Stanley Cup Final now. I’ve  been a fan of the game for as long as I can remember and I’ve watched probably  every  Stanley  Cup  Final there is.  It’s obviously tough not to play.       But  having  said  that,  I’m  extremely  proud  of  my teammates and fortunate to be here, fortunate to have been part of the run that I was on.       Now I’m cheering them on pretty loudly.

Q.  Not to bring up bad memories or anything, but just could you even begin to describe the pain you were in from the moment it hit you?  Did you know  it  was  broken?  How long did the 47 seconds you were on the ice for after, or whatever it was, feel?

GREGORY  CAMPBELL:  I’ve got asked that a few times:  Did you know it was  broken?   You know, I can’t say with 100% certainty that I knew it was broken,  but I felt like it was a different feeling.  I blocked a few shots before.  This just seemed different.       Then  once I was able to get back to my feet, I was not positive, but fairly  sure that there was something wrong.  I don’t have x-ray vision, so I didn’t know at the time that it was broken for sure.  Like I said, it was a different feeling.

The  pain  aspect,  yeah, I mean, it hurt a little bit.  It was sore. But your adrenaline’s going pretty good at that point.  You’re stuck on the ice  with a couple of the best players in the world.  You really don’t have
much  time  to  think about anything else but trying to help out and kill a penalty.

Q.   Did you see that video clip of you out there, have you gone back and watched it?  Are you sort of proud of what you did, in a sense?

GREGORY CAMPBELL:  I’ve seen it a few times, just watching the games. Naturally  I  watched  the  replay.  There’s been an overwhelming amount of support for me.  It’s humbling, to be honest with you.
The  way  I  look  at  it, it might sound naïve of me, but I was just trying to do whatever I could to kill the penalty, help out.  At that point I really wasn’t thinking much.
There  are  a lot of players right now that are playing not 100%, and there’s  a  lot  of  guys  that  play through pain.  I don’t see myself any different than anybody else in this league.  There’s a lot of tough guys in this  league.  A lot of players are willing to do whatever they can to win. At this point you see that more often, guys doing whatever they can to win.       I’m no different than anyone else on these two teams in the playoffs. I was just trying to finish the play and do my job.

Q.  Greg, along those lines, you have become the symbol of this team. You  are  the  most  talked about player when people talk about the Bruins, blue-collar  work  ethic, so forth.  How do you feel about that role?  Have you  been  exposed  to it, either getting phone calls, watching TV?  How do you feel about all that?

GREGORY  CAMPBELL:   Again,  I’m  not going to put myself in front of anybody  else  and  say  I’m  the picture of the Bruins.  This original six organization,  goes  back  a  long  way.  It kind of represents the city, a blue-collar, hard-working city with honest people.
When  I got traded to Boston, I thought it was tailor-made to my game the  way  this  team exemplifies the heart and soul of what a hockey player should be made of.  I was proud to come to this team and play hard for this team every night.
There’s  18 other guys in that room that would do the same thing, and that’s what makes us successful, and makes us a hard team to play against.       I’d rather be known for my play other than getting hurt.  But, like I said,  I  just  want  to play hard for the team and for the players in that room.

Q.  Greg, could you talk about Daniel Paille and what he’s done since you’ve been out.

GREGORY  CAMPBELL:   I mean, I guess we found out the problem, me and Thorty (Thornton) have been holding him back the last two years (smiling).
He’s been big for our team.  I’ve gotten the opportunity to watch him now  that  I’m  not  playing with him.  He does a lot of things that really help out a team in the playoffs.
Playoff  hockey  is  really  where  he shines.  I can relate to that. It’s  the  simple  things that might not draw a lot of attention during the regular season, but when it really matters in the playoffs, he’s been there
for us.
As  you’ve  seen  throughout the playoffs, it’s been repetitively the same  guys  scoring  night  in and night out.  That’s extremely hard as you move on and face better teams, better defensemen.  For the top two lines to keep scoring on that pace is extremely hard.
My  point  is  that  it  takes  four lines.  You see their third line contributing in Game 1, how important that was for them.  For Danny to really step up and really be a leader in that sense, I’m extremely  happy  for  him  because he’s one of the better guys I’ve played with,  nicer  people.   But  he works hard and he deserves to do well.  I’m glad that he’s helping the team.

Q.  What kind of talks have you had with Nathan Horton, if any, about what  he  went through a couple years ago?  Are you bringing a water bottle to Chicago this weekend?

GREGORY  CAMPBELL:   I  don’t think I will.  If I don’t have the same success as Nathan, it won’t look very good on me.
But  I’ve spoken to him a little bit.  Now I can definitely relate to how  hard  it  was  for  him, when I say not to be a part of it physically, because he was one of the main reasons we got to where we were in 2011, but for  any  athlete that’s not playing, for whatever reason, I would say it’s probably the hardest thing.
It’s  a  huge test of your character to have to sit on the sidelines.
It’s  actually probably harder to watch than it is to play just because you have no control over anything.
There’s  a  lot  of  work  that  goes into getting to this point from everybody.  It takes really everybody to get to the Stanley Cup Final.       Along  the way you’re needed at some point.  I tried to do the best I
could  when  I had the opportunity.  Now I’ll try to kind of replicate what Nathan  did,  support  the  team, be there, act like I’m still playing even though I’m not, just try to support them however I can.

Q.   Gregory, men sometimes express their affection or admiration for each  other  in kind of goofy ways.  Can you describe what it was like when you walked into the dressing room in shorts, however you were dressed, what was said, how good that made you feel, and who had the best line.

GREGORY  CAMPBELL:   They  always  give  me  jabs  about  the way I’m dressed.  Doesn’t matter if I’m playing or not.       It  was  a  tough  week,  not  because of surgery, but just because I didn’t feel a part of the team.  That’s not because anybody, you know, left me  out.  I was included a lot.  I got text messages every day from all the guys, even from staff and whatnot.
It’s  just not being there, you know, you naturally feel a little bit excluded and helpless, I guess.
So to walk in yesterday and see the guys, that was a great relief for me  to  know  that  they do still recognize me and I am still a part of the team.   Being around the dressing room is just kind of second nature to me. I love being around the room.  Having that taken away from you really makes
you  realize  how  fortunate I am to be a part of this team, a part of this group.       Everybody’s  extremely  close  in there.  It was like being separated from  your family for a few days, then kind of rejoining them.  That’s kind of the feeling that I had.

Q.  Can you give an example of a one-liner?

GREGORY  CAMPBELL:   I mean, I guess it wasn’t yesterday, but today I was  wearing white jeans.  Thorty said the last time he saw a pair of white jeans was when he got in a bar fight (laughter).

Q.   You’ve  known  Nathan  longer than any of us.  He’s a guy really throughout  his  career, his desire and will has been questioned at various points.  When you see what he’s playing through right now, the fact he went through  something similar before he got the concussion a couple years ago, can you speak to what a gamer he is, how maybe that might not get noticed.

GREGORY  CAMPBELL:   Well,  I mean, yeah, I’ve played with Nathan now for  10, 11 years almost.  I know him pretty well.  I have a lot of respect for Nathan as a hockey player, as a person.
I  think  he’s  exemplified his strengths the majority of his career. But  I think now that we actually have a chance to be in the playoffs, have a  chance to help a team win, I think that takes you to the next level as a
player.
You  learn  how to win.  You get to be a part of something that not a lot  of guys get to be a part of.  Case in point was with him and I, me not being  in the playoffs five years in a row, him even longer, because he was there before me.
I  don’t  think it was anything that he was ever lacking.  I think it was  the  opportunity  that he was given here.  Again, to go back to what I said  of  me fitting into this team, I say the same thing for Nathan.  He’s been  a  great fit for this organization and this city, and he’s a lot more talented than me.  It’s even a better mix.
You  know,  he’s a very positive person, so he’s had some setbacks in his  career,  but  he’s always handled them with class.  He’s always been a driven individual.
He’s  a calm person in a sense that nothing really bothers him, so he might  come  off sometimes that his heart’s not in it, but that couldn’t be further  from  the  truth.   He’s a heart-and-soul guy.  He carries himself with  so  much  poise,  sometimes it’s misconstrued as he doesn’t care, but that’s not Nathan at all.

Q.  In terms of your recovery, expectations.  Is your plan to be back for the start of next season?

GREGORY  CAMPBELL:   I’ve  been  told  six  to  eight weeks as a soft timeline.  It guess it really depends on the individual, how fast you heal, whatever the healing process presents.
I’m   fully  expecting  to  be  100%  at  camp.   Maybe  I  won’t  be participating  fully in camp.  I can’t say that right now.  But if you look at  six  to eight weeks, it puts me in mid July to late July, early August.
I’ll be back on my feet.
Obviously  my  training  program  is  going  to  change a little bit. That’s  a  big  part  of my game.  But that’s just something that I have to deal with and I’ll have to work around.

Q.   Shawn  Thornton,  the  night  you  broke your leg, was with you, walked  you  out.  He’s been like a puppy dog without you around the locker room.  What have your teammates been like?  What does that mean to you?

GREGORY  CAMPBELL:   They’ve  all been very, very supportive, made me feel  a  part  of  the team whether I’m there or not, like I said, with the text messages and whatnot.
After  surgery I got a text message from every guy on the team.  That makes you feel good as a player, just to know that I am missed, I guess, in a sense.
I  don’t  think  Thorty  is lost without me.  He’s been playing well. Definitely him and I have bonded I guess over the last few years and played a lot of hockey together.
You know, it’s difficult.  We’ve had the luxury of being together for a long time, and that’s pretty rare in hockey, to play with the same player or same players as we have been able to, with him and Danny.
So,  you know, there’s a little bit of I guess probably an adjustment phase  there.   Not because they’re missing me, but because they’re playing with new players.
But  going  back to the second part of your question.  It’s been very overwhelming  the  amount  of support and care the whole team has shown me. I’m very grateful for that.

Q.   Gregory,  I’m  assuming  you  know  now who Bobby Baun was.  I’m wondering  if  before  this  happened had you ever heard of him and can you appreciate what he did?

GREGORY CAMPBELL:  I did hear of him before.  I’ve heard comparisons, but  I don’t think there’s any comparison.  I mean, he came back and scored an OT winner.
I  know people probably joke around about that, I don’t put myself in that category, but that’s impressive to do that.       Like  I  said  earlier,  that’s kind of the nature of hockey players. It’s  not me specifically.  It’s everybody in this league, the will to want to succeed and play for your teammates and have pride in yourself.
I  respect  that feat of his, and mine was nowhere near that.  But it just  goes  to  show  you  how tough you have to be to play in this league. There’s  700,  800  other players that are tough like that and play through things every day.

Q.  I guess everybody in hockey understands why you did what you did, staying  on  after injuring yourself.  No doubt your family did, too, given the bloodlines.  Has anybody said to you, What on earth were you thinking?

GREGORY  CAMPBELL:   Not really.  I mean, nobody’s actually said that to  me.  I guess maybe it would have been a different story if the play was in the other end and I was closer to the bench.
I guess my thought process was that it would have taken me probably a while  to  get  back  there to the bench.  I thought if I could get up, and I’ve  always  felt like if you could get up, you should get up.  I tried, I
got up.  I tried to get in the lane and prevent passes.
Obviously  I  wasn’t  very effective at that, but at least I tried to not be a liability as best I could.  So I think it was more beneficial that I  stayed  out there than if I just kind of headed for the bench.  It would
have taken me a while to get there.  Who knows what would have happened. I  made the decision at the time and I felt that was the correct one. But, no, nobody said that to me yet.

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