On the opening day of the NHL's free agent period, defenseman Brian Campbell signed a contract with the Chicago Blackhawks, allowing him to move closer to the East, a move he desired for personal reasons. Campbell posted 19 points in 20 regular season games in teal and 1 goal and 6 assists in 13 postseason contests.
“It was a combination of his family situation and the type of contract,” said Sharks Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Wilson.
Wilson noted the Sharks would simply move in another direction.
“We’ll be adding to our team as we go forward,” said Wilson. “I think you’ll see that (on it happening before the season begins).”
San Jose will look to fill the defensive hole, but instead of free agency, it could come from player who other clubs may be willing to move.
The Sharks did not sign a player during this free agent period, mostly because they’ve been able to lock up most of their restricted and unrestricted free agents.
“Money and contracts can be limiting (if it’s not the right deal),” said Wilson.
While losing Campbell may hurt a little, it was not a surprise, and Wilson is still excited about his club, which finished second overall in the NHL last season.
“We’re a better team now than we were at the beginning of last season,” said Wilson.
SECOND THOUGHTS Wilson gave up Steve Bernier and a first round pick to get Campbell, but has no second thoughts about the deal.
“When you’re committed to winning, you have to be aggressive,” said Wilson. “I would do the deal again in a second. That pick was a glorified second rounder and we were able to move Bernier because of Clowe and Setoguchi. I would be more disappointed if we didn’t try to make that trade. It was to help our team win last year.”
As for not having the first rounder in 2008, it must be remembered that San Jose had a double dip in the first round in 2007.
“We had two first round picks last year and our cupboard is still full,” said Wilson.
RISSMILLER Unrestricted free agents Patrick Rissmiller and Curtis Brown were informed they would not be receiving contract offers this year and Rissmiller inked with the Rangers on July 1.
“I talked to them prior and let them know,” said Wilson. “We wish Patrick and Curtis nothing but the best.”
HEDICAN Rumors about the Sharks possibly signing Bret Hedican are rampant because he left Carolina saying he wanted to be closer to the Bay Area home of his wife Kristi Yamaguchi.
“We’ve had conversations with Brett and will continue to,” said Wilson.