Campbell poised to be ready for camp.


Jun 5, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins center Brandon Sutter (16) and Boston Bruins center Gregory Campbell (11) battle for the puck during the first period in game three of the Eastern Conference finals of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Shawn Thornton is one of the toughest Bruins to ever grace the TD Garden.  He is one of those players that just emanates toughness. This afternoon, while taking time out to host the fourth annual Putts-n-Punches for Parkinsons, he took a few moments to talk about a Bruin who is even tougher. That Bruin is Gregory Campbell.

Thornton was asked how his linemate and fellow Merlot Man was doing. “He[Campbell] was in town a couple of weeks ago, and he borrowed my car because he’s too cheap to go out and rent one,” said Thornton. “He looks pretty good. He’s up walking around, and he said that he’s working out. He looks good, so I’m hoping he’s ready to go at the start of camp.”

The Bruins set a six to eight week recovery timetable for Campbell after he broke his leg in game three of the Eastern Conference Finals.  Campbell’s leg was broken on June 6th after blocking a shot from Evgeni Malkin. Campbell got up, and continued to skate for nearly a minute with that broken leg. (He ended up getting a standing ovation after the play, and had his name chanted by the hometown crowd.) He became the rallying cry for the Bruins much the way Nathan Horton did back in 2011. At present, Campbell has been seen walking about without assistance and Thornton said that Campbell had been working out. It looks like the timetable for Campbell’s recovery is right on schedule.

That’s outstanding news.

The loss of Campbell did significant damage to the spirit of the Bruins. Campbell’s injury forced the break up of the Merlot line. While the improvised line of Tyler Seguin, Daniel Paille, and Chris Kelly did alright, the spark of the fourth line wasn’t there to propel the team, and make the Penguins and Blackhawks sweat like the old line could.  Having the best fourth line in the NHL together again will bedevil any team that thinks that they’re just a bunch of grinders. They’re more than that. They are warriors.