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Sharks acquire Campbell
Boucher also signed to backup Nabokov
2/26/08 - By Mike Lee

The Sharks addressed one of their holes on Tuesday by acquiring defenseman Brian Campbell from the Buffalo Sabres along with a 7th round draft pick, in exchange for right wing Steve Bernier and San Jose's 1st round draft pick this summer. In Campbell, the Sharks shore up the defensive corps, by adding a two-time All-Star that can help on the power play. Sharks GM Doug Wilson failed to add any help up front, where the Sharks 2.50 goals-per-game average ranks them 25th in the league.

The 28-year-old defenseman brings solid blueline credentials to San Jose, who excels at moving the puck. The Strathroy, Ontario native was also a mainstay on the Sabres power play, which will add depth to a Sharks special teams corps that ranks in the bottom 3rd in the league.

Campbell, ranks seventh among all NHL defensemen in scoring with 43 points (five goals, 38 assists) in 63 games.

"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 compliment our group really well."

Drafted by Buffalo in 1997, Campbell has spent his entire professional career in the Sabres organization. He was visibly shaken when speaking to the media earlier in the day.

''It's a shock,'' Campbell told the Canadian Press. ''There's a lot of good years here in Buffalo. Once it happens, it hits home pretty fast, but I'm looking forward to it now.''

Buffalo had been seeking a suitor for Campbell's services after the two sides broke off contract negotiations last month. Buffalo was rumored to have offered Campbell a 4-year deal worth upwards of $14 million, but the defenseman was looking for a longer term deal.

''We would all have preferred to have him here and keep him here,'' Sabres GM Darcy Regier said. ''But this is part of the new (collective bargaining agreement) that we'll have to deal with.''

In 391 NHL games, all with Buffalo , Campbell has posted 176 points (32 goals, 144 assists) and 113 penalty minutes. In 34 Stanley Cup Playoff games, Campbell has posted 13 points (three goals, 10 assists).

The Sharks finally gave up on Bernier, who failed to establish any consistency in his play after earning a roster spot in 2005-06. The 16th overall pick in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft would play like a world beater on some nights, then disappear for long stretches.

His 23 points (13 goals, 10 assists) in 59 games this season with the Sharks, ranks him 6th in team scoring. In 159 NHL games with San Jose , Bernier recorded 81 points (42 goals, 39 assists) and 126 penalty minutes.

"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."

San Jose also sent defenseman Rob Davison to the New York Islanders, in exchange for a 7th round draft pick in the upcoming draft. Davison's playing time was reduced to only 15 appearances this season, some coming as a forward. With the addition of Campbell, there was no room for another blueliner.

Goaltender Brian Boucher was also signed, providing more experience to the Sharks backup netminder situation. Dimitri Patzold and Tomas Greiss have appeared in only 6 games for the Sharks this season, neither having any playoff experience at the NHL level.

Brian Campbell: Profile

Brian Boucher: Profile

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