Colin Campbell

Colin Campbell makes waves with boisterous radio appearance


When it comes to public opinion, sometimes it’s not about the content of the message but rather how the message is relayed. If you want a famous example, how about the time Richard Nixon “lost” the 1960 presidential debates with John F. Kennedy largely because of his appearance?

In a tirade that in some ways reminds me of author Buzz Bissinger’s notorious tirade toward Deadspin founder Will Leitch, NHL executive (and head of discipline) Colin Campbell made waves thanks to his bombastic Tuesday appearance on TSN radio.

Campbell almost seemed unhinged at times as he discussed the “thankless” job of handing out suspensions and fines for questionable hits. One of his most passionate moments came when he spoke about Sidney Crosby’s concussion issues, as Campbell dismissed talk that David Steckel and Victor Hedman’s hits were dirty. Ultimately, the aggressive tone of his words overshadowed whatever logic he provided.

You can listen to every surprising moment of his radio appearance here, but James Mirtle points out some of the most interesting moments. Here are a few excerpts.

“Thankless job? Yeah, it’s thankless,” he said. “Especially at this time of year when there’s so much at play here with the playoffs and cities are involved. When you rule on certain situations, all of a sudden you become public enemy No. 1 so… Am I pissed off right now? Yeah I’m pissed off.

“The most suspensions I’ve had in a playoff were four, in an entire playoffs. We had two going into these playoffs and four already and we’re only halfway through the first round.”


On Crosby’s concussion, Campbell was especially outraged at the suggestion Tampa Bay Lightning defenceman Victor Hedman’s hit should have been penalized.

“You guys are crazy when you say that,” Campbell said. “What do you want to do to the game? You’re nuts. There are some hits out there that we don’t like, but … Come on you guys. You can’t say that was dirty you guys. You don’t watch hockey.”

The past few years would be difficult for anyone in Campbell’s position, as it’s unfair to put all the blame on one person when the entire league has a long way to go to improve this process.

That being said, his credibility has taken a few hits over the last few years. From controversial verdicts such as the non-suspension on Matt Cooke on Marc Savard during the 2009-10 season to the embarrassing e-mail scandal, his critics have had plenty of fodder.

At this point, you almost have to wonder how much one man can take. For many hockey fans, suspension-related controversies and other embarrassments will be Campbell’s legacy. That would be a real shame.

Lucic: If I wanted to hurt Couture, ‘I would have hurt him’


Last night in Los Angeles, Kings forward Milan Lucic received a match penalty after skating the entire width of the ice to give San Jose’s Logan Couture a two-hand shove to the face.

Lucic didn’t hurt Couture, who had caught Lucic with an open-ice hit that Lucic didn’t like. Couture’s smiling, mocking face was good evidence that the Sharks’ forward was going to be OK.

This morning, Lucic was still in disbelief that he was penalized so harshly.

“I didn’t cross any line,” Lucic said, per Rich Hammond of the O.C. Register. “Believe me, if my intentions were to hurt him, I would have hurt him.”

While Lucic knew he deserved a penalty, he said after the game that he didn’t “know why it was called a match penalty.” His coach, Darryl Sutter, agreed, calling it “a borderline even roughing penalty.”

And though former NHL referee Kerry Fraser believes a match penalty was indeed warranted, Lucic said this morning that he hasn’t heard from the NHL about any possible supplemental discipline.

Nor for that matter has Dustin Brown, after his high hit on Couture in the first period.

In conclusion, it’s good to have hockey back.

Related: Sutter says Kings weren’t ‘interested’ in checking the Sharks

Torres apologizes to Silfverberg and Sharks


A statement from Raffi Torres:

“I accept the 41-game suspension handed down to me by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. I worked extremely hard over the last two years following reconstructive knee surgery to resume my NHL career, and this is the last thing I wanted to happen. I am disappointed I have put myself in a position to be suspended again. I sincerely apologize to Jakob for the hit that led to this suspension, and I’m extremely thankful that he wasn’t seriously injured as a result of the play. I also want to apologize to my Sharks teammates and the organization.”

A statement from San Jose GM Doug Wilson:

“The Sharks organization fully supports the NHL’s supplementary discipline decision regarding Raffi. While we do not believe there was any malicious intent, this type of hit is unacceptable and has no place in our game. There is a difference between playing hard and crossing the line and there is no doubt, in this instance, Raffi crossed that line. We’re very thankful that Jakob was not seriously injured as a result of this play.”

Silfverberg says he expects to play Saturday when the Ducks open their regular season Saturday in San Jose.