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Morning Line

Never put anything into an email that you wouldn’t be fine with seeing in print on the front page of a national newspaper. If you’re a Bruins fan, you’re now forever justified in bitching that every call went against you because Colin Campbell hates Marc Savard. If you want your team to be treated favourably, acquire Greg Campbell, because Colin Campbell will watch all your games and bitch about bad calls. Also, it would appear that if you’re a GM and you’re not constantly filling Campbell’s ear in an attempt to get the refs you like you like, you aren’t doing your job.

Oh and one more - if you suspect that the NHL is run by bozos (in fairness to Walkom, I don’t think he comes off poorly in the emails, although he wasn’t found to be a particularly credible witness), Campbell’s emails aren’t going to do a lot to convince you otherwise. Funny stuff.

-Tyler Dellow of mc79hockey.  You will want to read more.

added 11:51am, Looks as if the website is having some issues, but as a KK member pointed out, you can see the cached page here (scroll down to read it).

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: colin+campbell

Comments

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Wow, this is HUGE.  Campbell showing clear favoritism to his son, and against players he thinks are “whiners”... (hence no suspension to Matt Cooke last year)

There’s so much information there which, if picked up by the media, could be very damaging to Campbell and the league.

Posted by BuzzFledderjohn on 11/15/10 at 12:23 PM ET

Primis's avatar

Really?  Because I have yet to have the link work for me.

Posted by Primis on 11/15/10 at 12:31 PM ET

Paul's avatar

Primis, I have a feeling the site is just getting hammered right now, may want to keep trying.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 11/15/10 at 12:36 PM ET

Mandingo's avatar

Wow.

It’s going to be real, real interesting to see how the league and establishment hockey media responds to this, because both of them should be absolutely ashamed of themselves right now.

If the NHL wasn’t such a joke, Campbell would probably be fired today for these revelations. Unfortunately, for not engaging in even a modicum of investigative journalism surrounding this, the mainstream hockey media is complicit, so they will probably try to downplay this to save some face. That it took a blogger searching CanLII Databases to uncover this stuff is both frightening and inspiring. How is it possible that this information has been publicly available all this time and not one hockey journalist reported on it? I have a hard time believing that no one knew about these e-mails until now.

I think this is going to be a real good test case for how powerful bloggers and “citizen journalists” can be when it comes to affecting change. This Tyler Dellow guy deserves a freaking Pulitzer.

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 11/15/10 at 12:37 PM ET

Mandingo's avatar

Paul, what is your sense about the potential fallout over this?

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 11/15/10 at 12:38 PM ET

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The site got slammed, probably being posted here.

I have it open still, and can post a few of the findings here in comments so all can see.  Please note, these quotes are from the linked page, these aren’t my findings (just giving credit where credit is due)

Tyler analyzed a bunch of e-mails from February 2007, which the league tried to obscure by removing player and team names, but he figured out the games that they were referring to, like so:

OK - this one I think we can nail down. We know that Campbell is upset about a situation involving a team that was already down to 5 v 4, on a defensive zone faceoff against a “little fake artist” who Campbell had (presumably in New York when he coached the Rangers). We also know that it was that player’s third penalty of the night. We can assume, from the chair’s description of this as being a few weeks after some earlier February emails, that it was in late February.

As it so happens, there is a game featuring players that meet this description. On February 24, 2007, Dean Warren reffed a game between the Bruins and the Panthers. At 13:29 of the second, Alexei Semenov was called for high sticking. Marc Savard, who played for Colin Campbell when he coached the Rangers, came out over the boards. He glided towards the dot where he faced off with Panthers penalty killer…Gregory Campbell. The puck was dropped and Campbell was called for high sticking. His third penalty of the game.

This is the only game from February, 2007 that meets the description.

Posted by BuzzFledderjohn on 11/15/10 at 12:40 PM ET

Paul's avatar

Mandingo, I’d like to see it addressed, truthfully.  No spin, no excuses, just address it.

But I have a feeling it won’t be in that fashion.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 11/15/10 at 12:41 PM ET

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Here’s some more analysis from November 2007 e-mails.  This references an e-mail exchange where Colin Campbell went off to Walkom like so:

1:30 left in 2-1 game for [team] and [player] scored with 2 second left to tie it up them won in OT. F***

and he later says

Keep Warren and gas this *#$%@&. 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.

Tyler’s analysis:

So we know that this game took place in November of 2007. I went through and looked for November 2007 games in which a penalty was called late in a 2-1 game and the team that went on the power play scored and won in overtime. I found this Florida-Atlanta game, which looks to be the only one that meets the description. After a Panther was penalized late, the Thrashers won it up and tied it in overtime. The player who was penalized? None other than Gregory Campbell. Brian Pochmara and Don VanMassenhoven were the referees in that game and both are, as far as I can tell, still NHL referees.

Posted by BuzzFledderjohn on 11/15/10 at 12:43 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

Man… huge, huge appreciation to Tyler for digging this up.

Mandingo really covered so many of my feelings in his post, but one thing I’d add—notice the tone that Campbell, in particular, takes regarding the times in games when penalties are called. It’s a microcosm of one of the biggest problems most of us have with NHL officiating—it’s

inconsistent

. And not game to game so much. Obviously, each game will have a different tone, and that inconsistency is human nature and has to be expected. But this inconsistency within a game, where the standard of what’s a penalty morphs constantly as the game goes along…

All this time, I think a lot of us—myself included—were frustrated with the officials for this problem. But when you look at the things Campbell says, it sure as hell makes it appear as if a lot of these inconsistencies are coming right down from the top, when you read Campbell complaining about penalties being called late in games, etc.

Nobody like to see “weak” call at any point, let alone the end of the game. But if the refs have set a standard that, for example, they’re going to call all interference and clutching/grabbing by the book, that standard has to count whether there’s 19 minutes on the clock in the first, or 1 minute left in the third.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 11/15/10 at 12:43 PM ET

Avatar

Just for the record, I’m only putting in the very interesting bits so people can get a sense of the article.  There’s a whole lot more to read, hopefully the site comes back and is accessible again.  I won’t flood the comments here any more.

Posted by BuzzFledderjohn on 11/15/10 at 12:44 PM ET

Mandingo's avatar

But I have a feeling it won’t be in that fashion.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 11/15/10 at 09:41 AM ET

Me neither. Which is a shame because this has the potential to be very damaging to the league.

Other than the actual allegations of Campbell favoring his son and singling out particular players for punishment/non-punishment, the real damage here is just the tone of these e-mails. Campbell sounds like a petty, vindictive moron who is in no way qualified to be SVP of the league or impartial arbiter of justice.

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 11/15/10 at 12:46 PM ET

Paul's avatar

Mandingo, that is the way it sounds, but I have met and talked with Campbell and he comes across as an old school hockey guy.

His job is very tough, someone is always going to be upset by his decision.

That said, if you know nothing about Campbell, this comes across exactly like you said.  But do remember, he was emailing with people he felt comfortable with, who know what he is all about.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 11/15/10 at 12:49 PM ET

Mandingo's avatar

notice the tone that Campbell, in particular, takes regarding the times in games when penalties are called. It’s a microcosm of one of the biggest problems most of us have with NHL officiating

Posted by Nathan from the chiropractor on 11/15/10 at 09:43 AM ET

Totally.

He’s basically admitting that he thinks there are times during a game where a penalty shouldn’t be called regardless of whether it actually occurred.

And doesn’t that go against everything we’ve heard from the league regarding the “new NHL?”

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 11/15/10 at 12:54 PM ET

Mandingo's avatar

His job is very tough, someone is always going to be upset by his decision.

That said, if you know nothing about Campbell, this comes across exactly like you said.  But do remember, he was emailing with people he felt comfortable with, who know what he is all about.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 11/15/10 at 09:49 AM ET

One of the early responses I’ve read about this story is that I agree with is that Campbell comes across as a hockey parent out of control doing the sorts of things with his position of power that parents that run their kid’s pee-wee league do to make sure that their child always ends up on the all-star teams.

Now, I’d agree that that doesn’t necessarily make him a bad person, but doesn’t it call into question his ability to be SVP of the entire league?

And I also realize that he was e-mailing people he felt comfortable with, but he was also e-mailing co-workers, and you gotta expect a little more professionalism from an executive, old-school hockey guy or not.

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 11/15/10 at 01:00 PM ET

Avatar

I agree with all the other comments here - he felt he was able to say things in confidence with people he felt comfortable with, and this is definitely something taken out of context.

The problem is, he was e-mailing the director of officiating, complaining about how the referees were officiating games, which undoubtedly has an influence on future games (whether directly or indirectly, consciously or not).  He’s probably a great person, no doubt, but you just can’t do that sort of thing because it will always have some sort of influence.

There are rules of conduct in all businesses, and it sure seems like this would violate any sort of ethical conduct rules (whether it was intentional or not).  The only way to curb this is to force the league to deal with it head on, not just sweep it under the rug.  It would be nice if the league would say that, yes, this is improper conduct, and we are going to make sure it doesn’t happen again.  No one needs to lose their job, but just knowing the league is actually taking it seriously would be good for its business.

Posted by BuzzFledderjohn on 11/15/10 at 01:14 PM ET

Mandingo's avatar

I’ll have to temper my castigation of the MSM - somewhat - becasue it appears that these e-mails didn’t enter the public record until at least October 6, 2010.

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 11/15/10 at 01:17 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Colin Campbell absolutely should lose his job over this.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 11/15/10 at 01:30 PM ET

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Here’s the Google cached version of the page, since it’s down (Paul you may want to update the post to include this link):

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=cache:http://www.mc79hockey.com/?p=3518

Posted by BuzzFledderjohn on 11/15/10 at 01:49 PM ET

Primis's avatar

Got to the GoogleCache finally.

Oh.  My.  Goodness.

And J.J…. are you serious?  If he’s not lost his job already over his bass-ackwards discipline, why would this change anything?

Man, if I’m the NHLPA… I don’t know where I’d run with this first.

Posted by Primis on 11/15/10 at 02:03 PM ET

awould's avatar

Looks pretty bad. Sounds like a fan bitching about calls for or against teams/players based on his personal feelings. Not very professional and goes a little ways towards explaining the NHL’s inconsistent ways regarding suspensions and punishment. This guy, in a nutshell, sounds like a loose canon with an agenda.

Posted by awould on 11/15/10 at 02:12 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

And J.J…. are you serious?  If he’s not lost his job already over his bass-ackwards discipline, why would this change anything?

Because bass-ackwards discipline only calls into question the objectivity of the idiots running the league, this helps answer that question.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 11/15/10 at 02:17 PM ET

Hank1974's avatar

Not only will Campbell retain employment in the NHL he’ll probably get a raise.
What the NHL does with this info will solidify it’s reputation.
It’s either a joke league or one that is serious on being taken serious.

If this evidence isn’t enough to fire Colleen I don’t know what is.

But I’ll say this, Boston has itself one heck of a bargaining chip. They could probably get Stamkos for Gregory Campbell right about now! wink

Posted by Hank1974 on 11/15/10 at 02:17 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

There’s no doubt he has a difficult job… there’s no doubt that he has a job in which his decisions, on a daily basis, will always leave someone unhappy.

As has been pointed out, the problem here is that Campbell is too deep in the culture of the league. He’s got too many friends, from GMs, to coaches, and probably even some players. How can he be expected to do his job impartially? These emails just go to show that he can’t be, and he hasn’t been.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 11/15/10 at 02:29 PM ET

Avatar

I’m sure the NHL will attack the exposure of the e-mails and do nothing about their content. It will probably be a witch hunt and a lawsuit for making it clear to the public what we’ve always assumed about the NHL, the NHL operates on the whims of a few good old boys. 

Colon Campbell and his cronies use the NHL as their own personal tool and integrity never enters the picture. They truly believe that they ARE Canadian hockey and therefore they are the sport and have noone to answer to. If you’re not one of the boys then you’re not a part of the “culture” and just don’t get it. “Culture” is just a code word for they make it up as they go along to suit their own needs and purpose.

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 11/15/10 at 02:53 PM ET

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To BuzzFledderjohn’s point about the media picking up on this, it’s worth noting that The Star carried a story in October 2009 about Warren’s firing. It mentioned some of the e-mails that Tyler Dellow has on his site but didn’t explore the Greg Campbell/Savard angle.

Posted by watrgate on 11/15/10 at 03:03 PM ET

Pharazon's avatar

I’m sure the NHL will attack the exposure of the e-mails and do nothing about their content. It will probably be a witch hunt and a lawsuit for making it clear to the public what we’ve always assumed about the NHL, the NHL operates on the whims of a few good old boys

nothing illegal about the exposure of those emails. they were sopenead (sic) for the Warren case and they’ve been in the public domain since then

Posted by Pharazon from England on 11/15/10 at 03:17 PM ET

Jeff  OKWingnut's avatar

Seems the links are down, including the cache, shocking.

The NHL gives us yet another example of their inept management.  That the sport succeeds at all is a testament to the talent on the ice, and in the better run individual organizations.

Thanks Gary, Ass.

Posted by Jeff OKWingnut from Quest for 12 on 11/15/10 at 03:27 PM ET

Jeff  OKWingnut's avatar

Wonder why this story isn’t getting much traction in the Canadian MSM?

Posted by Jeff OKWingnut from Quest for 12 on 11/15/10 at 03:37 PM ET

Paul's avatar

Kypreos and Doug MacLean just said the blogger got his 15 minutes of fame, never to heard from again.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 11/15/10 at 03:39 PM ET

Lola's avatar

I’m sure the NHL will attack the exposure of the e-mails and do nothing about their content. It will probably be a witch hunt and a lawsuit for making it clear to the public what we’ve always assumed about the NHL, the NHL operates on the whims of a few good old boys.

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 11/15/10 at 11:53 AM ET

I don’t think the NHL has any real way to spin it this way. The e-mails themselves were released (with a little bit of identifying information redacted) for the case. It was just a matter of Dellow taking the time and effort to wade through tons and tons of similar e-mails to find these gems. Everything about their exposure is on the up-and-up.

I agree with your conclusion, but I can’t see the NHL responding that way.

Posted by Lola from down by the bay on 11/15/10 at 03:39 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Kypreos and Doug MacLean just said the blogger got his 15 minutes of fame, never to heard from again.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 11/15/10 at 12:39 PM ET

They had better be careful.  This isn’t the first article that Dellow has posted that has garnered some good attention around the hockey community.  Ignore him at your own risk, but he’s doing the job that these guys are getting paid for.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 11/15/10 at 03:58 PM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

My take on what Bettman might say about this Campbell email business:

In gary’s condescending lawyerly drone:

.....“the league has taken surveys and the results show that the vast majority of fans are very satisfied with the way penaltys are called and aslo with the way suspensions are handed out”......

Posted by Down River Dan on 11/15/10 at 04:05 PM ET

Mandingo's avatar

Kypreos and Doug MacLean just said the blogger got his 15 minutes of fame, never to heard from again.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 11/15/10 at 12:39 PM ET

You have got to be kidding me.

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 11/15/10 at 04:13 PM ET

Lola's avatar

Kypreos and Doug MacLean just said the blogger got his 15 minutes of fame, never to heard from again.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 11/15/10 at 12:39 PM ET

They had better be careful.  This isn’t the first article that Dellow has posted that has garnered some good attention around the hockey community.  Ignore him at your own risk, but he’s doing the job that these guys are getting paid for.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 11/15/10 at 12:58 PM ET

Agreed. He had some really exceptional articles during the whole Kovalchuk thing.

Posted by Lola from down by the bay on 11/15/10 at 04:14 PM ET

Avatar

My point was that the blogger exposed to the general public the contents even though they were publicly available. I was originally going to say the blogger leaked the info, but felt it made it seemed like the NHL had a case. Instead they sent out their lap dogs to treat this like a non-story. The point I was trying to make is that they’ll just try to discredit the blogger and not address the issue.

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 11/15/10 at 04:27 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Kypreos and Doug MacLean just said the blogger got his 15 minutes of fame, never to heard from again.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 11/15/10 at 12:39 PM ET

They had better be careful.  This isn’t the first article that Dellow has posted that has garnered some good attention around the hockey community.  Ignore him at your own risk, but he’s doing the job that these guys are getting paid for.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 11/15/10 at 12:58 PM ET

Wow.  This is a scorching revelation.

Great job to Tyler for getting this out there.

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 11/15/10 at 04:52 PM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

watching NHL live, and they just read a prepared statement by (a league publicist)  bill daly.

essentially the statement said:

  we love colin campbell and he has a real tough job and no funny business with games involving his son ever took place, we stand behind colin and to those of you who don’t like it….....tough

Posted by Down River Dan on 11/15/10 at 04:59 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

Kypreos and Doug MacLean just said the blogger got his 15 minutes of fame, never to heard from again.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 11/15/10 at 12:39 PM ET

Paul, I know we ask a lot of you, but would you be able to elaborate? What did they say as to why they felt this was the case?

Unfortunately, my gut feeling is that they feel this way because they are essentially a part of the same problematic caste that Colin Campbell is. Kypreos and MacLean should be ashamed that they aren’t running with this story and digging up more dirt, after all, it is their damn job.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 11/15/10 at 05:19 PM ET

Paul's avatar

Nathan, It was like, we know Colin Campbell and you don’t.  He would never do that type of thing and if you think these types of emails aren’t written, well, then you don’t know what is going on.

Basically they came to the defense of Campbell while brushing off Tyler as just another blogger.

Greg Brady, who hosts the show on Fan590 did not agree with them.  Greg is talking about it now on Fan590.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 11/15/10 at 05:22 PM ET

SYF's avatar

How condescending of MacLean and Kypreos.  That’s insinuating that NHL fans are a brainless herd.  We love this game more than those talking heads do and that’s why it’s out there.

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 11/15/10 at 05:37 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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