Q: If the Sharks can sign Brian Campbell, their trade with the Sabres is a steal. How likely is it he’ll make a home in San Jose?
— T.Z. from Reading, Pa.
A: Tough rad, T.Z. One thing is for sure: he will be playing in a vastly different hockey environment than the one he knew in Buffalo over the course of eight seasons. The pressure to win in San Jose, in terms of community expectation, isn't anywhere near what it is in Buffalo.
Hockey in San Jose is just another recreational bauble for the sporting public. In Buffalo, it is central to the culture, the topic of nearly everyone's conversation ... all ... day ... long. Some players find that shift very pleasing (see: Joe Thornton), while others find themselves asking what happened to the buzz, or high, that came with playing in a hockey town.
Right now, I would say that the Sharks have, at best, a 50-50 chance of getting Campbell to sign a new deal. But if they get hot, and have a successful playoff run, that could change dramatically.
Q: For only a sixth-round pick, Chris Simon is worth it in my opinion. What do you think of the Wild’s move and are there any other ‘minor’ trades that might also have a major impact?
— Mark Tanner from St. Peter, Minn.
A: Simon, now with seven suspensions on his rap sheet, can be a valued, intimidating force, provided he plays within the rules. As we know, that's not easy for the big guy.
Just days before the trade deadline, he finally made it back to the Islanders lineup after his most recent suspension (30 games for kicking Pittsburgh's Jarkko Ruutu). No surprise, he was booed every time he touched the puck. However, it was surprising that the Islanders were playing at home that night. Even his own team's fans didn't want him anymore. No surprise that Islander GM Garth Snow found him a new home.
Overall, Mark, the move by Minnesota doesn't do much for me. Simon was once a very effective player. But he's older now, and he has shown that it's all but impossible for him to mind his manners. I don't see him having much, if any, impact with the Wild. But based on his antics, he's gone to a team a name that fits him perfectly.
The best of the ''minor'' trades, I think, was Washington's surprise acquisition of Cristobal Huet, who was, until the afternoon of Feb. 26, Montreal's No. 1 netminder. He only cost the Caps a second-round pick — a very cheap price for a guy with a 21-12-6 record and a 2.55 goals against mark.
The Hossa and Richards deals will be remembered as the key blockbuster deals of the 2008 deadline. But it would not surprise me if, in the end, Washington's acquisition of Huet makes the most impact.
PHT: A comeback win in Game 3 gave Ottawa hope, and the Senators seek a repeat result tonight to level the series.
PHT: After coming back home in an 0-2 hole, the Sharks are now even with the Kings after holding on to win Game 4 Tuesday night.
Video: NHL from NBC Sports
Highlights: Sharks even series with Kings
The San Jose Sharks capitalized on their scoring chances in the first period and the early part of the second period in Game 4 of their Western Conference semifinal series against the Los Angeles Kings. After falling behind by two goals, the Kings almost cut the lead in half in the second period, but the referee blew the play dead as the puck was about to cross the goal line. The series is now tied at two.
Check out photos from the Kings' Stanley Cup victory parade in LA.
Stanley Cup playoffs
Check out photos from the NHL postseason action.
Stanley Cup winners
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The nation grieved for those hurt, killed and affected by the Boston Marathon bombings. After one of the suspects was caught on Friday — following a day-long lockdown and manhunt — sports returned to Boston over the weekend.