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NHL Responds in Colin Campbell Case

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Violating everything we know about the NHL and its ability to avoid conflict rather than addressing it, the league has issued a statement to TSN through Deputy Comissioner BIll Daly. We also get word straight from the horse's mouth in a statement from Colin Campbell himself.

Not to pile on with the situation, but the statements just beg for a rebuttal. Let's just say neither of them are overly convincing, and neither of them address the problem at hand. Make the jump for the quotes.

First off, if you don't know where you are right know, or what we are talking about, please take a moment to read the post immediately proceeding this one.

For our first juicy quote, we turn to the statement given to TSN by Bill Daly:

"Any suggestion that Colin Campbell performs his job with any less than 100% integrity at all times and in every decision he makes is way off base and just factually wrong.  Because of the potential for a conflict of interest, or more importantly a perceived conflict of interest,  the League has implemented various structural protections that prohibit Colie from having any oversight or disciplinary authority relating to any game in which his son, Gregory, plays.  Its always fair to question and criticize League decisions as being wrong, but not on the basis that they aren't justly and fairly arrived at."

It is factually wrong? How exactly would you like to prove this to me, sir? Integrity is a subjective term. I believe you saying he performs his job with 100% integrity is factually wrong based on the emails provided via public record. They clearly show that he has serious bias and serious judgment issues. How does one with these issues operate with 100% integrity? The only lesson that comes to mind is that there is "honor among thieves."

A perceived conflict of interest? Perceived? Do they provide free Jack Daniel's at NHL HQ or what? A perceived conflict of interest? There are very few companies that even allow a family member to be a position to supervise another family member. The NHL apparently doesn't understand what a conflict of interest is.


1. Situation that has the potential to undermine the impartiality of a person because of the possibility of a clash between the person's self-interest and professional-interest or public-interest.

2. Situation where a party's responsibility to a second-party limits its ability to discharge its responsibility to a third-party.

Want one more? How about from

"We can define a conflict of interest as a situation in which a person has a private or personal interest sufficient to appear to influence the objective exercise of his or her official duties as, say, a public official, an employee, or a professional."

Source: Chris MacDonald, Michael McDonald, and Wayne Norman, "Charitable Conflicts of Interest", Journal of Business Ethics 39:1-2, 67-74, August 2002. (p.68)

Sounds like a conflict of interest to me, not a perceived conflict, but an actual conflict.

Its always fair to question and criticize League decisions as being wrong, but not on the basis that they aren't justly and fairly arrived at. That's what you are going to go with? It isn't fair? You are going to bring up "just" and "fair" in a conversation regarding Colin Campbell? You ever heard the term oxymoron? You should look it up.

Now, the really good part. The man, the myth, the legend comes to his own defense. Colin Campbell also gave a statement to TSN:

"For me, it's much ado about nothing. Stephen and I would have banter back and forth and Stephen knows I'm a (hockey) dad venting and both of us knowing it wouldn't go any further than that. Stephen would laugh at me. The game in question (when Gregory Campbell was penalized late in the Atlanta-Florida game) wasn't on TV and I was asking Stephen to find out for me if it was a soft call. That's all there ever was to it. The (refs) working that game are still in the league, aren't they? Stephen handled the officials, just like Terry Gregson does now, and I've got a lot of emails to those guys asking about this soft call or that soft call and that's in a lot of games. I'm not ultimately responsible for the (on-ice) officials, that's Terry Gregson's responsibility, but I have to answer to GMs on these calls."

It is "much ado about nothing" for you? Well good, I'm glad you are OK with it, sir. No one here wants to see your feelings hurt. You and Stephen should not, under any circumstances, be "bantering back and forth" about games your son was involved in. That is completely unethical, and completely unprofessional. You ahve a responsibility to keep your nose out it when it comes to your son, otherwise the league's "various structural protections that prohibit Colie from having any oversight or disciplinary authority relating to any game in which his son, Gregory, plays" have no teeth.

You were asking for him to find out if it was a soft call? Why? What difference does it make? If you are not to be involved in any game your son plays in, why does it matter? Why not call the GM? Why not call, oh I don't know, your son?

This is how you ask him to see if it was a soft call?

From: Colin Campbell
Sent: 11/#/2007 09:54 PM EST
To: Stephen Walkom
Subject: Penalty

Game not televised. Radio announcers said it was a bullshit need to find out for me. How...I don't know but this was awful. 1:30 left in 2-1 game for [team] and [player] scored with 2 second left to tie it up them won in OT. FUCK


From: Stephen Walkom
Sent: 11/#/2007 09:56 PM EST
To: Colin Campbell
Subject: Re: Penalty

ok ill find out....


Re: Penalty
11/#/2007 10:48 PM
Colin Campbell to Stephen Walkom

Did you find out anything? It was [another referee] that made the call. Keep Warren and gas this shithead. 90 seconds left and he calls a weak penalty...tripping. Makes me sick. If I was at the game I would have had to fine me.

Read the very last paragraph. "Did you find out anything?" suggests you still don't know if it was a soft call, but at the end you write "90 seconds left and he calls a weak penalty...tripping. Makes me sick." If you have yet to find out if it is a soft call, why are you continuing to push it as such? This reads more like someone pushing an agenda, than someone seeking the truth.

"The (refs) working that game are still in the league, aren't they?" The refs working the game are, indeed, still in the league. Small consolation. You berated them to the man that supervises them, attempting to soil their reputation, all in the name of defending your son and his team. Again, unethical and unprofessional.

Why are there so many emails to the NHLOA about calls? If there are that many blown calls, why doesn't something change? If you are so upset about it, why not use your position to do something, rather than just complain about it? Or is it just when your son is involved?

You are not ultimately responsible for on-ice officials? Than keep your damn opinion to yourself. This isn't Saturday night rec league, for cripes sake. This is the National Hockey League, a mulitbillion dollar organization. You cannot just email or call the head of the NHLOA and complain that you don't like the calls, especially if that isn't even your damn job. Let the people responsible for the on-ice officials deal with the on-ice officials and do your own job. Maybe then you could figure out how to be "fair" and "just" like Mr. Daly suggests the rest of the world be with you.

If the GMs are calling, looking for an explanation, how about you send them to Mr. Gregson? If he is in charge of the people who make the calls, why are you the one answering questions about them?

It all comes down to this, Mr. Campbell. You were upset about calls made against your son, and you called Mr. Wilkom to try to influence his officials into laying off the kid. I get it, you are a parent. However, if you want to be Greg's dad, you need to quit your job until he is done. He you want to be in charge of supplemental discipline for the NHL, then you had best start acting like a professional in your dealings with the NHLOA and the players.

Since that isn't about to happen, perhaps it is best if you just step down and let someone without your obvious and clear bias run the show for awhile.


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