Colin Campbell’s Lost Credibility
Interesting find by Tyler Dellow on how Colin Campbell runs his office as chief NHL disciplinarian.
If you haven’t read it yet, make sure you do.
I don’t think anyone would argue that the NHL’s officiating and administration of justice is inconsistent at best. And when you read the emails between Campbell and Stephen Walkom, you have to wonder if they’re fair and impartial as well.
In the case of Gregory Campbell, I don’t doubt that the league has a structure in place so that his dad doesn’t have any authority in games in which he’s played. But when the NHL’s principal disciplinarian talks to the NHL’s Director of Officiating about matters of discipline – whether it’s formally, informally or “just venting” – it doesn’t look good.
It doesn’t end there.
As Tyler figured out, Colin Campbell also made some comments about Marc Savard, calling him a “little fake artist”. How much did Campbell’s personal perception of Savard factor in his decision to not suspend Matt Cooke for that blatant blindside hit?
In fact, now that we know what we know, how can we not look at every one of his decisions and question whether or not his personal perceptions and relationships had affected them?
Today, Campbell appears less credible and the NHL’s decision-making process has less integrity. The NHL can stand behind Campbell all they want (TSN has that story here), but it doesn’t change that, in the eyes of its fans, the man required to review incidents without bias does have some.
There wasn’t a lot of trust in the process before this; I imagine there’s even less now.
The argument that Campbell was venting or joking, and that everyone knew how he operated, doesn’t seem to fit. If that was Campbell’s personality, Walkom would reply with a “lol” or a witty retort, or ignor Campbell’s email altogether, not a “ok ill find out….” And if he’s joking, Campbell would let it go and not be writing a follow-up email to see if Walkom found out anything about the call against his son.
It’s a stretch to argue that Campbell was joking. Even if he was venting, that’s a conflict of interest. He should be dismissed.