(CBS) When the Blackhawks made the somewhat perplexing moves recently of trading Teuvo Teravainen in a salary dump with the Hurricanes and then shipping out Andrew Shaw to the Canadiens, they did so with a goal in mind.

Freeing up money to improve their blue line.

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As the start of free agency approaches Friday, it’s clear who Chicago’s top priority is on the open market: defenseman Brian Campbell.

A former Blackhawk who was part of the 2010 Stanley Cup-winning team, Campbell acknowledged his desire is to return to Chicago.

“A lot of people know it’s my No. 1 place I’d like to play,” he told the Chicago Tribune. “So I’ll wait and see and hopefully it all works out.”

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Campbell is so set on playing for the Blackhawks that he would take a discount — to an extent.

“I will take a discount to play here in Chicago,” Campbell said, according to the Tribune. “But it’s got to be something I can be comfortable with. Now I just have to wait to Friday to get something done.”

The 37-year-old Campbell is a four-time All-Star, most recently in 2012. He’s continued to be a dependable defenseman as he’s played the past five seasons for the Florida Panthers. He had 31 points (six goals, 25 assists) in 82 games last season.

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A lack of depth on the blue line was one of Chicago’s weakness last season, when it fell in seven games to St. Louis in the first round.