Monday, February 25, 2008

Third Verse Same as the First in Buffalo

Buffalo Sabres fans have taken a beating over the last 12 months. They watched the Sabres stumble in the playoffs and then waived good to their top pivot Daniel Briere before watching their heart and soul leader Chris Drury follow suit. Now, it appears that fans will be on the verge of a mutiny as they will have to suffer through another loss. It appears to be almost certain that Brian Campbell, an extremely talented smooth skating defenseman who has been the leader of the defensive corps for the last few seasons, will be finding a new home after failing to reach a new deal with the Sabres. Campbell stands to become an unrestricted free agent in the off-season and at 28 he's in the prime of his career and exactly the kind of defenseman that teams cherish in the "new NHL." Campbell is on pace for a career year as he has 43 points through 62 games and Buffalo didn't appear to want to pay him his due. Now, I have no access to the inner-workings of a deal like this but I can't imagine how any of the leaders in Buffalo could allow this to happen yet again. They've truly struggled without Briere and Drury, Thomas Vanek has been a shadow of himself without them, and now they're willing to lose the kind of defenseman that every team wants. Campbell was reportedly willing to accept a hometown discount to stay in Buffalo, but they could not come to terms and if there's one thing that powers-that-be have learned in Buffalo, it's that allowing a top player to walk for nothing in return is equally as foolish as failing to retain them in the first place.

UPDATE: Sabres trade Brian Campbell to the San Jose Sharks for a 1st round draft pick and Steve Bernier. Buffalo fans, my apologies and your GM deserves to be fired. San Jose Sharks AGAIN benefit from an incredibly timed trade.

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