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Brian Campbell’s exit means Hawks more likely to keep Patrick Sharp

Updated: June 27, 2011 12:08PM



ST. PAUL, Minn. — It won’t be easy for the Blackhawks to replace defenseman Brian Campbell, but getting the remaining years of his eight-year, $56.8 million contract off the books will help them avoid having to replace a bigger piece.

Hawks general manager Stan Bowman said Saturday he’ll engage in contract-extension talks for Patrick Sharp this summer. Sharp has one year left on a deal that carries a $3.9 million salary-cap hit.

‘‘I expect us to get him signed,’’ Bowman said. ‘‘It’s probably going to be similar to the [Brent] Seabrook situation. My hope is to get it done quicker than we did with Brent. I don’t expect this thing to go till next June. We’re going to start talking this summer, and it would be ideal if we could get it wrapped up before it stretches out too long.’’

As for Campbell, Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon said it took some convincing for Campbell to waive his limited no-trade clause. But Tallon, the former Hawks GM, is thrilled to have him again.

‘‘He’s willing to come down and help turn our franchise around, and that speaks volumes,’’ Tallon said.



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