It did not take long once the free agency period opened for the Boston Bruins and unrestricted free agent Steven Kampfer to come to an agreement on a new contract. On Tuesday, the Bruins announced Kampfer had agreed to sign a new two-year contract worth $1.6 million. Kampfer is “excited” to be back with the Bruins, but is out to prove himself once again to the team he started his career with. He met with the media on Wednesday to discuss his new deal.
“I think you know you can always weigh the options, but I think anywhere you go you still got to prove yourself all over again, and I want to prove myself to the Boston Bruins again,” Steven Kampfer told the media. “I want to prove myself, that I can be an everyday player and if they want to put me back in the same situation then we do that and we are all happy with it.”
During this past season with the Bruins, Kampfer took on the role of being a depth defenseman and played that role to perfection. He would get into the lineup when one of the top six defenseman would get injured. In the playoffs, he played a crucial role for the Bruins, and while he might have only played in three games in the playoffs, he made an impact on the ice every time. Kampfer is out to prove he can handle the minutes that Head Coach Bruce Cassidy throws his way this season to earn a spot inside the top-six.
“I think every year you have to go into it with a mindset to prove yourself,” Kampfer added. “You have to be ready to go from Day 1 and you know they are going to put the best six defenseman on the ice and you have to work your way into it. It’s show up and compete for a job come September.”
While Kampfer hopes he will play more come next season, he understands the role the Bruins laid out for him this past season. That could play the same role he handles this upcoming season.
“Whatever they ask of me, we go from there,” Kampfer continued. “If it is doing the same thing again this year then I understand that. I would like to play, but you have to earn that and you have to play, you are here to support the team and be the best team guy and best person you can be.”
One thing Kampfer has going for him is a familiarity with Cassidy’s system, which led to an easy agreement between the two sides. Kampfer can just step into the lineup whenever his number is called and Cassidy already knows what to expect from him.
“I think how the team played and how can you can step in and play, it makes an easy transition and the coaching staff knows what to expect from you, the organization knows what to expect from you, the players know what to expect from you,” Kampfer said. “So it’s bring the same work ethic, same energy, enthusiasm to the rink every day and making sure we keep growing and hopefully we get that one more win.”
Kampfer has come a long way in his career as a defenseman. Through ups and downs, trials and tribulations, Kampfer has remained upbeat and positive as he has learned about himself and the way the game is played at the NHL level. Especially this season in the playoffs, when Kampfer did not see that much game action, he leaned on a veteran player like David Backes to keep him prepared just in case the time would come when he got into the lineup.
Kampfer understands what it takes now to be an everyday player with the Bruins, and will bring that fight and determination on the first day of training camp to prove that he can a top six defenseman in this league.