The Malik Report
by George Malik on 06/01/11 at 04:17 PM ET
NHL senior vice-president and director of hockey operations Colin Campbell is stepping away from his role as head of NHL discipline. He had held the discipline role for the league since July of 1998. Campbell will remain a key component in Hockey Operations and as such will continue to oversee such events as future general managers meetings.
Sources tell TSN Brendan Shanahan will likely take over, but there could be somewhat of an overhaul of how supplemental discipline is handled.
Shanahan’s role has continually evolved with the league. He is currently working as the NHL’s point person in dealing with equipment changes in conjunction with Mathieu Schneider and the NHLPA and is the lead man in organizing the league’s Research and Development camps.
This news is mildly surprising but not a total shock given Shanahan’s apprenticeship as the league’s “VP of hockey and business development” under Gary Bettman, Bill Daly and the rest of the hockey operations department, and that’s where the move worries me—Shanahan’s spearheaded the R&D camp and is progressively working with Schneider to improve player safety, and shifting him to a disciplinary role might shuffle Shanahan off to the land of late-night lobbying and back-room deal-making.
• I guess we have to talk about realignment again, via the Toronto Star’s Damien Cox:
Detroit wants out of the west and it wants out now. Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch, one of the league’s best and longest serving proprietors, was placated to some degree in the late 1990s when the Maple Leafs shifted to the Eastern Conference by being given two expansion teams, Nashville and Columbus, to beat up on. But the Preds and Jackets are patsies no more, and from a business point-of-view, the Wings believe they need this shift to reduce the team’s travel, stop being forced to feed their fans a steady diet of Central, Mountain and Pacific time zone road starts and to give their customers new teams to watch like the other members of the Original Six.
Ilitch, senior executive Jimmy Devellano and GM Ken Holland have all made comments in recent years stating Detroit’s hope to eventually switch conferences, and now is their chance. Problem is, the league might see a better fit with Nashville or Columbus moving to the Southeast, even though it’s believed Detroit would happily accept moving to that division with Carolina, Tampa Bay, Florida and Washington just to get more Eastern time zone games and extra matches with teams like the Leafs, Rangers, Bruins and Canadiens.
The Wings don’t just want this move. They’re willing to fight for it after years of being good soldiers and supportive of the Bettman adminstration. But teams in the west won’t want to lose them as a gate. Could be an interesting scrap over this issue, with the Wings expected to need a two-thirds vote at the board level and right now facing opposition from every team in the Western Conference.
If it’s 2/3rds instead of a simple majority, there’s no way in hell the Wings will ever move East. I can’t imagine 20 members of the Board of Governors agreeing to allow the Wings to move East, ever. At least 14 in the West and some of the Northeast and Atlantic Divisions’ representatives would nix it.
• In the plain old “interesting stuff” category, via the Vancouver Sun’s Ian Walker, several Canucks’ favorite Stanley Cup memories involve the Wings:
Chris Tanev: Definitely seeing Steve Yzerman lifting the Cup in 1996 and ‘97 after those two series in Colorado to get there. Those were before the finals, but they are my two favourite series of all time because they were so intense. The rivalry was crazy and I was still pretty young, but just really remember liking it when the goalies fought and players going at it. It was a huge rivalry and pretty fun to watch when you’re 7-8-9 years old.
Ryan Kesler: When the Detroit Red Wings beat the Philadelphia Flyers in 1997. They had a great team and just to see the parade and all that, the city was electrified. So to be around when that all happened was pretty special.
Mason Raymond: If you’re talking playoff memory, I’ll never forget Stevie Y’s shot in overtime when he hammered that shot from the blueline in against the St. Louis Blues in 1996 en route to winning the Cup. In the final, I’d say Brett Hull’s overtime goal in 1999 for the Dallas Stars over the Buffalo Sabres and the controversy with his foot in the crease - that was a neat one.
CODY HODGSON: My brother and I both liked Detroit and Steve Yzerman was a role model of mine growing up so we used to cheer for them. We’d be up at our cottage by then, so that’s a fond memory, being up at the cottage watching the Red Wings win it all.
• And this isn’t Red Wings-related in any way, shape, or form, but Wings assistant coach (for now?) Paul MacLean spoke to The Fan 590’s Jeff Blair about his memories of his time spent with the Winnipeg Jets, and given the fact that the coaches are strictly off-limits to the Detroit media, period, it’s interesting to hear him speak about anything:
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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.