While we’ve heard plenty from NHL executives and media alike about how stand up a guy Colin Campbell is, the one faction we haven’t heard from are the NHL players who are affected by his decisions on suspensions. Anthony San Filippo of the Delaware County Daily Times near Philadelphia conducted a poll of 30 players and 10 executives (who were all left anonymous) to see what their thoughts are on what the revelation of Colin Campbell’s comments about officiating in regards to games his son play in, as well as his thoughts on Marc Savard.
With the players’ anonymity in tact, you can believe that their opinions on this matter are strong and very clear.
Of the 30 active players, all 30 said they believed Campbell’s integrity has been permanently broken because of the e-mails — even if they were old e-mails and were taken out of context.
One player said it didn’t matter.
“Someone who wasn’t with our organization at the time got an e-mail from Colie saying something negative about me,” one player said. “I can’t say anything publicly though, because if I ever have to go in front of him, it could affect what happens now.”
Twenty-two of the 30 players said they think Campbell should step down from his position, be re-assigned, or as one player suggested, get some help in the form of a discipline committee.
Granted this is a poll of just 30 players out of the 700-plus players that are in the NHLPA, but you have to believe that soon-to-be executive director Donald Fehr just found himself a brand new fight to take up with the NHL. Again, this is just a small sampling of players but already getting this strong of a reaction out of some of them should make for a wake-up call for the NHL and the team executives that have staunchly stood behind Campbell in the wake of this information coming out. They might feel that Campbell is doing fine in his job, but the guys on the ice that are affected the most by his potential influence over officials seem to feel differently.
With the amount of discord that generally exists between NHL executives and its players, we certainly don’t expect the players’ opinions to be given a lot of weight, but it’s very possible you could see this becoming a sticking point in the future between the two sides.