The NHL has responded to the publicized e-mails of NHL senior executive vice president and league disciplinarian Colin Campbell, giving him full support.
Campbell's e-mails from 2007, in which he called for the firing of an on-ice official for a call that went against his son and in which he accused Marc Savard as being a player who faked injuries, were posted on mc79hockey.com.
Though the e-mails appeared to show that Campbell let various biases affect his decision-making, the league has come out in support of him.
"Any suggestion that Colin Campbell performs his job with any less than 100 percent integrity at all times and in every decision he makes is way off base and just factually wrong," deputy commissioner Bill Daly told TSN.ca. "Because of the potential for a conflict of interest, or more importantly a perceived conflict of interest, the League has implemented various structural protections that prohibit Colie from having any oversight or disciplinary authority relating to any game in which his son, Gregory, plays. It's always fair to question and criticize league decisions as being wrong, but not on the basis that they aren't justly and fairly arrived at."
Daly offered a similar statement to ESPN.com.
"In the execution of those rigorous and challenging duties over 12 seasons, Colin has been thorough, thoughtful, professional and scrupulous; his integrity has been impeccable, and he has no role whatsoever in matters pertaining to games in which his son plays," Daly told the website. "Colin Campbell has the complete confidence and support of the National Hockey League, as do all members of the Hockey Operations Department."
That Campbell allegedly called Savard a "fake artist" is particularly relevant, given that Campbell decided to not suspend Matt Cooke after his violent, blindside hit on Savard in March 2010. The e-mails had names and other exact details redacted, but mc79hockey.com deduced with a fair level of certainty that Savard was the player that Campbell was referencing.
Campbell has also come under fire for being influenced by calls that went against his son, Gregory Campbell, who is now Savard's teammate with the Boston Bruins.
The e-mails in question were part of a Canadian suit filed by official Dean Warren, who felt he was wrongly terminated by the NHL. They were publicly displayed on CanLII.org.
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