Campbell traded to San Jose
TSN is reporting that the Sabres have dealt defenceman Brian Campbell to the Sharks in exchange for Steve Bernier and a first-round pick.
The Buffalo News reported yesterday afternoon that Campbell would be playing his final game last night against Philadelphia. Campbell had turned down a three-year, $5.75-million per season contract earlier and will be a UFA on July 1.
Certainly this is a tough move from a fan's perspective given the Sabres have recently lost Daniel Briere and Chris Drury, but Campbell's not the sort of player I would give a Dan Boyle type deal to.
San Jose gets one of the league's highest-scoring defenceman, someone who can take over the power-play quarterbacking duties. Craig Rivet had been playing the point on the Sharks top PP unit, and Campbell's certainly an upgrade on him in that regard.
Where he's struggled somewhat this season is defensively and on the penalty kill, but San Jose's been great 4-on-5 and needs help 5-on-4.
Bernier, meanwhile, is a 22-year-old power forward who has yet to really play up to his potential in San Jose. His best NHL season remains his first one, when he had 14 goals and 27 points in 39 games, and he has managed just 28 goals and 54 points in 121 games since then.
He was nonexistent in the playoffs last season.
Bernier was San Jose's first-round pick in 2003 (16th overall) and was regarded as a can't miss prospect after he put up 49 goals and 101 points as a 17-year-old in junior hockey with Moncton of the QMJHL.
“Brian’s a guy that gets the puck out of your zone quick,” said Sharks GM Doug Wilson. “He’s a quarterback on the power play and he will compliment our group really well.”
“We wish Steve the best,” Wilson added. “He’s worked really hard for us and we think he will go on and have a tremendous career.”