Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Your First Trade Is Always The Worst

I am excited to see Brian Campbell head out west, I think his skills on the power play and his leadership on the ice will be a huge value add in the Sharks organization. I don't know how it felt for Brian when he was notified that he was just traded, but if I were to equate the feeling it would be like knowing a lay-off is coming, knowing that your department is being cut, and finding out at 4pm on Friday that today is your last day (all the while asking your boss "just tell me if I am going"). Brian's emotional interview was touching, as you could tell he was extremely upset, and at the same time, had to be positive about going to the Sharks.

His interview later in the day, once the Sharks PR department got in touch with him, had a completely different tone. He had time to put his thoughts together and had time to chat with the Sharks organization on things to discuss.

Brian Campbell has become a better hockey player - not on the ice, but through this process. Your first is always the toughest, he survived, he will head west to San Jose and he will still be a rock star on the ice. I cannot imagine how he felt ... being drafted by the Sabres in 1997, he has played with then since and went to his first All-Star game as a Sabre last year, and then again this past year in Atlanta. Buffalo is what he knows, Buffalo is where his heart is. He even said "I have finally allowed my teammates to call me "soup!""

Brian is coming to San Jose at a great time - Campbell brings his elite skills, including his super speed and ability as a power-play quarterback, to the Sharks, a team that desperately needed a "pick-me-up" in their bid to become a major contender in the Western Conference. San Jose is fifth in the West with 74 points, leading Minnesota by one and Vancouver and Nashville by two. It is third in the Pacific Division, trailing first-place Dallas by nine points and second-place Anaheim by five. Campbell had five goals and 38 assists this season for the Sabres. His 43 points led all Sabres defensemen and is seventh among NHL defensemen.

When asked Sharks GM Doug Wilson said "We have been looking for this component for our hockey team for quite a while, I'm very familiar with Brian Campbell's game. I think he's one of the top puck-moving defenseman in the game. We think he'll fit in tremendous for our hockey team. He'll certainly improve our power play and our puck possession game. He's a world class skater. He can move the puck. He can play defense. He's a multidimensional player, and he's had success. He's the type of guy that will fit into the dressing room here."

Good Luck Brian - and Welcome to The Tank!!!

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