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Willie Mitchell criticizes Colin Campbell's 'relationships'

May 13, 2010, 5:30 PM EDT

williemitch.jpgWillie Mitchell finally spoke to the media today after being out of action since January 16 because of concussion issues caused by an Evgeni Malkin hit. The rugged defenseman spoke out against NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell, particularly the effects his “relationships” have on some of his decision making.

The Vancouver Province has the story.

“I know Colin Campbell has a lot of relationships with general managers and owners and stuff like that,” Mitchell said. “It’s very tough to hand down decisions on matters like this when you’re friends with people.

“It’s like saying I have to discipline my teammates. It’s too emotional. You can’t always make the right decision.”

“I am disappointed in the league, I’m disappointed in Colin Campbell,” Mitchell said. “I am disappointed he didn’t rule down anything on the play. That’s his job. As we’ve seen, he’s been very inconsistent in how he’s handled himself in those situations. I think a lot of times he hands down suspensions and fines on results.

“I think that’s the wrong thing to do.”

Mitchell is one of the league’s most underrated shutdown defenseman and you have to think that the Canucks missed him (especially in that horrible Game 6). Here’s video of the Mitchell press meeting.

There’s really no doubt that there is at least some form of “double standard” for star players. If it were, say, Matt Cooke instead of Evgeni Malkin who delivered that hit on Mitchell, odds are there would have been a fine or even a suspension.

Regardless, Mitchell’s a great defensive player and seems to be a solid human. Hopefully he’ll be back and healthy next season.

And maybe – just maybe – the league will get its act together when it comes to these hits.

  1. SeaBass626 - May 14, 2010 at 1:31 PM

    Wasn’t he supposed to get suspended for instigating the fight in the finals last year?

  2. Jeff - May 14, 2010 at 1:55 PM

    Yes. he should have been… but malkin and crosby are 100% exempt from any extra punishment from the NHL. you will never see either of them get a suspension or fine from their on ice actions… crosby breaks his stick on the opposing teams net, and then throws it across the ice in a temper tantrum, which should be a match penalty and automatic 1 game for unsportsmanlike… and he gets nothing… and people defend him… yet if it was a sedin or a cammalari or a datsuyk or a towes it woulda been that and then some… it is sick to see the penguins stars get special treatment when ovie didnt mean to take out brian campbell and gets 4 games… and malkin does something 10 times more and gets 2 min for checking from behind… on a hit that shoulda netted him a fine and atleast 3 or 4 games… its sick… and its wrong… the entire upper echelon of the NHL needs to be forcefully replaced. bettman, campbell, and anyone else that bettman has hired since 1993.

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