Unlike most of the other members of the One and Done Club for the Lightning, Jim Campbell had a fairly successful career. Drafted by Montreal in the 2nd round of the 1991 draft, the Massachusetts native played in 285 NHL games and scored 61 goals. He also represented the US in the 1994 Olympics in Lillehammer, which was the last Olympics to not feature NHL players.
Campbell debuted in 1995-96 with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. Despite recording 5 points in 16 games with the Ducks he wasn’t re-signed. The right-winger signed with the St. Louis Blues, and it was in the Gateway City that he would record much of his success. In his first season with the Blues he scored 23 goals and posted 43 points, which was good enough for him to finish third in voting for the Calder Memorial Trophy behind Bryan Berard and Jarome Iginla.
The next season saw him play in 75 games and put up another 22 goals. Unfortunately this would be the highwater mark for games played for Campbell. Injuries plagued him the rest of his career. In an eerie coincidence the St. Louis Business Journal published an article pointing out that Campbell (then in his breakout year) would be wise to spend $6,000 on a $1,000,000 insurance policy against injury.
After two more seasons in St. Louis where he played in a combined 57 games, Campbell would bounce around the league, playing a handful of games for Montreal, Chicago and Florida. He then played for a few teams in the AHL as he struggled to keep his dream alive.
During the lockout season of 2004-05 he found himself in Springfield, the AHL affiliate of Tampa Bay at that time. He played well enough to be offered a contract the next season. GM Jay Feaster hoped his veteran leadership could help with some of the younger players in the system and that with “crackdown in obstruction, he [would] flourish within our system.”
After being loaned from Bridgeport he “flourished” in Springfield, recording 24 points in 32 games and earning a call up in January after Fredrik Modin and Rob DiMaio suffered injuries in the same game. On January 3rd, wearing the number 16, he would play his one and only game for the Lightning.
He played 8:47 minutes and picked up a penalty (2 minutes for holding Ryan Hollweg) in a goalie duel. John Grahame and Henrik Lundqvist stopped a combined 48 shots in regulation (Grahame was waaay busier with 33 stops). Vaclav Prospal was the hero as he stuffed the puck past Lundqvist with less than two minutes to go in overtime.
It was Campbell’s last game in the NHL. After two seasons in the Swiss League he hung up the skates and returned to the St. Louis area. He is currently owner of the Geyer Inn, and coaches youth hockey.
Does he have any Lightning hockey cards?