San Joe Sharks Executive Vice President Doug Wilson struck for the first major deal at the deadline when he snagged All-Star defenseman Brian Campbell
from the Buffalo Sabres
in exchange for Steve Bernier
and a first round pick.
Campbell, 28, is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. He has twice been named to the NHL All-Star game and has scored 40 or more points from the backend for three straight seasons.
“Brian’s a guy that gets the puck out of your zone quick,” said Wilson. “He’s a quarterback on the power play and he will complement our group really well.”
In 2007-08, Campbell has 43 points (5 goals, 38 assists) in 63 games and is third among NHL blueliners in assists and seventh in points. In 2006-07, Campbell set a career high with 48 points and a +28 plus/minus rating.
“I’m obviously excited,” said Campbell. “I talked to Doug Wilson and he seems excited"
In the past two seasons, Campbell has played an amazing 34 playoff games and posted 13 points.
Campbell has been highly decorated throughout his career and was an All-Star at the World Junior tournament in 1999, a Major Junior First All-Star Team member and Canadian Major Junior Player of the Year in 1999.
Campbell is familiar with several players on the Sharks roster.
“I played with Curtis Brown and Mike Grier
in Buffalo,” said Campbell. “I’ve played summer hockey with Joe Thornton
since the age of seven or eight.”
Wilson did wish good luck to Bernier who had spend the past three seasons with San Jose.
“We wish Steve the best,” said Wilson. “He’s worked really hard for us and we think he will go on and have a tremendous career.”