Brian Campbell Rumors and Thoughts

Anthony CasaleCorrespondent IJune 25, 2008

The draft has come and gone just as quickly and now it’s back to free agency and a slew of rumors regarding the Sharks and their future.

A big name with plenty of different opinions surrounding him is Brian Campbell.

Is he going to leave?  Is he worth $7 million that he is asking for?  Are they trying to trade him for something rather than lose him for nothing?

Just some speculation about the future with so many questions to be answered. 

Campbell became a Shark at the trade deadline when he was traded from Buffalo. He was in the last year of his contract and it was a known concern of Sharks management whether he would re-sign.

It has been reported that the Sharks are giving plenty of teams the right to negotiate with the defenseman. This is to be expected since it would be extremely hard to find the money to sign him to the $7 million asking price and keep some cap room for the future. 

San Jose is also said to be trying to find trade partners for him instead of losing him for nothing. Testing the trade waters is the right thing to do in my opinion; if they are looking to get rid of him, time is running out.

Another big piece of evidence supporting his departure from San Jose would be that, well, it was reported he said he wanted to leave.  Don’t assume that he had a bad time with the Sharks--I’m sure that is far from the truth. 

He has said that he has wanted to go back to the Eastern Conference, namely the Northeast Division. All signs point towards the fact that he wants to be near Buffalo, if not in Buffalo. Campbell is openly talking to teams, which seems to be vice-versa from what should be happening.

Should the Sharks let him walk if they don’t get a decent offer for him? I believe they should but this could cause problems in an offense that will need a puck-moving defenseman. This will then give the Sharks another need in the offseason, but with much room under the cap they should be able to handle it.

Although I think Campbell is worth $7 million a season, during the salary cap era it is best to watch him walk and look for other players to fill the spot. The Sharks will have a big issue on their hands a couple years down the road when Patrick Marleau, Jonathan Cheechoo, and Joe Thornton’s contracts are up. 

The offensive system allows for successful puck moving defensemen and, I have confidence in the organization to find one without signing the big contract.