Sweet Homes Chicago: Brian Campbell

February 24, 2010 7:49:10 AM PST
They are one of the hottest and most exciting teams in the NHL -- your Chicago Blackhawks. Six-foot lefty, all-star defenseman Brian Campbell is one of the reasons why.

He has played in more than 500 NHL regular-season games, and his stats have earned him comparisons to hockey hall-of-famers Bobby Orr and Paul Coffey.

But growing up in Canada, he wanted to be like The Great One.

"Yeah, I liked Wayne Gretzky a lot," Campbell said.

His parents, Ed and Lorna Campbell, had a feeling from the time Brian was a tot, that hockey would be a part of their lives.

"From when he was a little guy at 3 years old," Ed Campbell said. "He used to go down to the basement on a July day, when it was 90 degrees, and dress up in hockey equipment, trudging up the stairs with everything falling off of him."

"He didn't have to have toys," said Lorna Campbell. "He just sat in front with his brother's hockey bag and dress and undress himself the whole afternoon."

His parents were in town to support him for his Campbell for Kids Foundation's charity event. The Texas Hold 'Em fundraiser raised thousands of dollars for Autism Speaks and The Beard School in Chicago.

Besides supporting their son and his charitable endeavors, his parents love to travel from Ontario to visit their son.

"Well, I love cooking, so I like to come to Brian's house and cook meals and use his kitchen and fill up his freezer a little bit," Lorna Campbell said.

And so the kitchen is where we started our tour.

"Favorite desert, my mom's chocolate pie," he said.

But being in Brian Campbell's home is a lot like being in a memorabilia museum.

He's got photos of his first pitch at Wrigley Field, his teammates, musicians, presidents, movie stars, the all-star game, him singing and a favorite, being at center ice for a game with his dad.

He's also saved his Halloween "Top Gun" outfit.

"You never know when you will need it," he said.

His closets are unbelievably tidy and, in fact, so was the whole place. His teammates say he's a pretty neat guy.

"I always make sure I catch the news," he said.

"And the weather?" Tracy asked.

"I actually tape the weather so I can watch it again," Campbell said.

And what would any sports guy's place be without a pool table? So before Campbell wins the Stanley Cup, Tracy Butler suited up and made him face off against her in a old jersey from last year's Stanley Cup champs.

"I'm not a pool shark, but I can handle my own," he said.

After her loss to Brian in pool, Tracy Butler had to wear his jersey on air.