Chicago Sun-Times

Blackhawks walk away from defenseman Chris Campoli

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Defenseman Chris Campoli and the Blackhawks have officially parted ways, just days after general manager Stan Bowman said the restricted free agent wouldn't be re-signed.

Campoli originally had his arbitration hearing scheduled for Aug. 3, but it was moved up to Wednesday. He was awarded $2.5 million and the Hawks opted to walk away as Bowman said they would at the convention.

Winger Viktor Stalberg's arbitration hearing was originally scheduled for Wednesday, but he agreed to a two-year deal 10 days beforehand.

When a deal couldn't be reached with Campoli, Bowman opted to sign defenseman Sami Lepisto to a one-year, $750,000 deal. Before that, Bowman had always maintained that he wanted to retain Campoli, who was acquired from the Ottawa Senators at the trade deadline.

Bowman said at the convention he would try to trade Campoli first, but if he couldn't that he would become an unrestricted free agent.

"It was apparent from the beginning that their salary demands were not in concert with where we see him fitting in our team," Bowman said last week. "We tried to work it out with Chris. We went back and forth and made him our best offer and it didn't work for them."

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Adam L. Jahns is a native Chicagoan hailing from the Far Northwest Side. Jahns has been with the Sun-Times for more than four years, covering the Hawks, Bears, Cubs, Sox and high schools.

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