Jun 1, 2011, 12:44 PM EDT
The days of feeling as if the NHL is being run as if a shadow government with conflicts of interest existing in a hush-hush manner are coming to an end.
Colin Campbell, the Senior VP of Hockey Operations for the NHL, will be stepping down from his position as the league disciplinarian at the end of the season. Gone will be the talk of conflicts of interest and perhaps gone with him will be the cloud of mystery that surrounds any and all decisions on punishment (or non-punishment) of players and the “Wheel Of Justice” means that decisions are handed out.
According to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, Campbell won’t be stepping down from his VP position, he’ll just be relinquishing his duties as the judge, jury, and executioner of player discipline issues. While that job unto itself is a thankless one with GMs and players around the league constantly in your ear, emails revealed that Campbell was taking advantage of his position in the league to potentially influence calls in favor of his son Gregory, currently with the Boston Bruins. Campbell also lashed out against referees for not calling out dives. Marc Savard caught Campbell’s ire in one email in particular calling him “the biggest faker going.”
Perhaps the breaking point for Campbell came thanks to a radio appearance in April when he was questioned by TSN Radio’s James Cybulski about his decision to not suspend Raffi Torres for his hit on Brent Seabrook during the Canucks first round series against Chicago. Campbell went on a tirade against Cybulski and was angered at having his take on the play and the situation questioned. Campbell sounded like a guy who was at his wits end after a year of having his abilities questioned and the very apparent conflict of interest consistently being discussed. That conflict of interest even spurred a column before the start of the Stanley Cup finals posing some nonsensical conspiracy theories from one Vancouver columnist who once again called Campbell’s conflict of interest into question.
NHL VP of hockey and business operations Brendan Shanahan will take over the position as the league’s disciplinarian. Shanahan is a former all star player over 21 seasons with five different teams (New Jersey, St. Louis, Hartford, Detroit, New York Rangers). Over that time, he knows a thing or two about tough play amassing 2,489 penalty minutes as well as 656 goals and 1,354 points in what will someday be a Hall Of Fame career.
Shanahan is a smart guy and an innovative one on top of all that. What he’ll need to do is to help remove the smoky room aspect to this job and make it far more transparent and consistent. That won’t be easy with 30 GMs always wanting punishment to be tougher on other teams and easier on their own. Shanahan will have to realize that the “old boys” network that seemed to exist under Campbell won’t work anymore and that making sure to punish heinous acts on the ice get to be more understandable to the players and to the public. Getting a guy that’s not far removed from the game (Shanahan retired in 2009) helps that out because he’s got a better understanding of what’s going on out on the ice and has a better idea of the evil that lies in the hearts of some players.
Here’s to hoping this leads to a far more understanding era of punishment in the league.
May 20, 2013, 11:45 PM EDT
Is that an intentional Sharks pun?
May 20, 2013, 11:22 PM EDT
He thinks it could be a valuable wake-up call.
May 20, 2013, 11:03 PM EDT
At least between Dan Cleary and Bryan Bickell.
May 20, 2013, 10:51 PM EDT
Joel Quenneville said they “hit the wall” after that.
May 20, 2013, 10:36 PM EDT
Tough night for the zebras.
May 20, 2013, 10:23 PM EDT
Finally some adversity for the Blackhawks.
May 20, 2013, 10:10 PM EDT
Peter Horachek had been with the team since 2003.
May 20, 2013, 9:18 PM EDT
Two goals in 31 seconds, including his beauty.
May 20, 2013, 9:15 PM EDT
That Craig Adams hit didn’t feel very good, though.
May 20, 2013, 8:52 PM EDT
Did anyone go over the line?
May 20, 2013, 8:11 PM EDT
Perhaps that hurt less than it looks.
May 20, 2013, 7:35 PM EDT
“Sooner or later something’s got to give,” he said.
May 20, 2013, 6:32 PM EDT
He has a no-trade clause.
May 20, 2013, 5:06 PM EDT
Lots of stink talk coming from New York.
May 20, 2013, 4:31 PM EDT
He hopes to be ready for the start of the 2013-14 regular season.
May 20, 2013, 4:04 PM EDT
Stop us if you’ve heard this one before.
May 20, 2013, 3:12 PM EDT
But can the Rangers control the Bruins’ big forwards?
May 20, 2013, 3:05 PM EDT
Just to quash that rumor entirely.
May 20, 2013, 2:41 PM EDT
“Don’t stick your hands where you shouldn’t.”
May 20, 2013, 2:39 PM EDT
The commissioner visited the New York Stock Exchange last week.
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