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The Source of his Success

by Staff Writer / Buffalo Sabres
Brian Campbell was surprised by his nomination to the NHL's All-Star ballot when it was announced a couple of weeks ago, but the 27-year-old defenseman is absolutely flabbergasted by how well he is doing in the voting.

In a recent census of all fan balloting for the All-Star game released by the league on Tuesday, November 21, Campbell leads all blueliners with nearly 58,000 votes. Fellow Sabre Henrik Tallinder ranks fourth after receiving 47,000.

In his usual jovial manner, Campbell divulged the secret to his success on Wednesday morning prior to Buffalo contest with the Toronto Maple Leafs (MSG, WGR 550-AM, 7 p.m.).

"Mom has been on holiday back home this past week," joked Campbell. "Maybe that's the reason for it."

Campbell's talent is no longer a state secret only known around Buffalo's locker room. His plus-12 rating is third best in the NHL and he leads all Sabres defensemen with 14 points. Campbell is also tied with Teppo Numminen for the team lead in assists among defensemen with 12.

"It's nice," said Campbell. "I've worked hard and have had to slowly climb up the ladder over the years. It's been fun and I enjoy coming to the rink everyday. I've got a smile on my face and that's good."

"He's played very well for us and deserves all the recognition that he is getting," said head coach Lindy Ruff. "He just goes out and plays."

The league also reports that goaltender Ryan Miller leads all NHL goaltenders in fan balloting by about 4,000 votes over Martin Brodeur. Miller has been selected by fans nearly 64,000 times.

For potential forwards to represent the Eastern Conference, Daniel Briere, Maxim Afinogenov and Chris Drury rank third through fifth, trailing only the dynamic sophomore duo of Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin. Thomas Vanek is fifteenth in forward voting after receiving over 14,000 write-in votes. Vanek's number is nearly 10,000 more than the next closest write-in candidate, Toronto's Darcy Tucker.

Voting concludes on January 2, 2007 at 9 p.m.
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