Rush re-sign cornerstone

DEREK VAN DIEST -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 7:29 AM ET

There were times last season when Pat Campbell felt like a target in a shooting gallery.

The Edmonton Rush goaltender was peppered in the team's inaugural season giving up over 12 goals per game. Yet he was still named the team's MVP.

One can only imagine how bad things would have been without the Niagara Falls, Ont., native in goal.

Yesterday the Rush announced Campbell signed a one-year deal with the club.

"Pat is the cornerstone of our team," Rush assistant coach A.J. Jomha said in a news release.

"He really proved himself last year and we want him to be that same player again.

"Because we are going to be better on defence this year, we hopefully will not need him to be great every night. We're just asking him to be good and consistent."

Campbell, 29, had a 1-11 record with a 12.89 goals against average. In the team's only win of the season, Campbell made 54 saves in a 12-11 victory over the Calgary Roughnecks.

"Last year was a building year for us, so I am not entirely disappointed in the results. It only makes me more excited for this season," said Campbell.

"There is no ceiling in terms of expectations because we now have the talent and experience that can match any team in the league."

Also returning are forwards Trent Smalley, Jordan Cornfield and Randy Daly. Smalley and Cornfield signed one-year contracts, while Daly got a two-year deal.

The Rush also signed 2006 draft picks, Kurtis Wagar, Cory Melville and Kris Hartzell.

Local products Ryan Polny, Andy Kent, Neil Tichkowsky and Kevin Gilpin have been invited to attend training camp Nov. 11-12.

The Rush open the season on Jan. 6 when they host the Philadelphia Wings at Rexall Place.


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