Home > General NHL News > Colin Campbell Resigns As League Disciplinarian, Shanahan Named Replacement

Colin Campbell Resigns As League Disciplinarian, Shanahan Named Replacement

Brendan Shanahan will become the league's newest disciplinarian after Colin Campbell announced he's leaving the position after the season. Photo Credit: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Colin Campbell’s Wheel of Justice may have taken its last spin.

TSN’s Darren Dreger reported today that Campbell, the league’s Senior Vice President and Director of Hockey Operations, is resigning from his post as league disciplinarian. He’ll serve as Vice President of Hockey Operations.

Former New Jersey Devil Brendan Shanahan, hired by the league in 2009 as the Vice President of Hockey and Business Development, will likely replace Campbell.

Campbell, who served as disciplinarian since 1998, had a tumultuous season. He needed to rule over the league’s first year implementing the infamous “Rule 48” on shots to the head. Inconsistent punishments on several players drew the ire of general managers, players and fans alike.

In November, a group of e-mails exposed Campbell to further scrutiny. Tyler Dellow of m79hockey.com released several e-mail conversations between Campbell and former head of NHL officiating Stephen Walkom which painted Campbell as a complainer and a biased observer. He complained to Walkom about penalties called against his son, Gregory, a forward then with the Florida Panthers. He also called out Marc Savard, saying the forward was a “little fake artists” and “the biggest faker going.”

It didn’t end there. Campbell launched into a tirade about suspensions during an April interview with TSN Radio’s James Cybulski. The host asked Campbell about his decision not to suspend Raffi Torres for his hit on Brent Seabrook during the Vancouver Canucks first round series against the Chicago Blackhawks. Campbell launched into a tirade against Cybulski, angry that he needed to defend his decision.

Campbell hinted at leaving the position earlier this week, when he recused himself from his duties for the Stanley Cup Finals. His son Gregory, now a left-winger for the Bruins, would cause a conflict of interest. Mike Murphy took over those duties for the finals.

Shanahan will hopefully bring fresh ideas and more transparency to the position. The biggest issue with Campbell was his inconsistent rulings on player fines and suspensions. Two similar to the head, for example, could carry different consequences depending on the player, etc. He never explained his rationale for handing out either a fine, suspension, or both. It made the process almost laughable.

Shanahan’s research and development camps have drawn rave reviews for their ability to test several different changes. He’s shown a willingness to tweak things in order to improve the game. He’ll have his hands full fixing this system. If anyone is up to the task, it’s Shanahan.

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