|Update: Colin Campbell confirms e-mails that call Marc Savard ‘faker’ to TSN||11.15.10 at 12:16 pm ET|
[UPDATE: 4:27] NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell confirmed and responded to the leaking of e-mails that have put him in an unflattering light.
Tyler Dellow, an Oilers blogger, on Sunday posted what he says were some of Campbell’s e-mails. (The link appeared to be dead by midday Monday). After doing a little detective work, Dellow determined a bias for Campbell’s son, Gregory Campbell, and a bias against others, namely Marc Savard.
Here’s an e-mail to former director of officiating Stephen Walkom sent in February of 2007 regarding then-referee Dean Warren:
To Stephen Walkom/Tor/NHL@NHL
Subject Re: Delayed Penalties/High Sticks 02/#/2007 4:24 pm
A bend in the road is a dead end if you round the corner and Dean Warren is standing there. Your answer re: his high stick calls and the score of the game were horse [manure]. The 3rd call on [player] was while they were down 5 on 4 and on a def zone face off vs that little fake artist [player] I had him in [city] biggest faker going. And Warren fell for it when he grabbed his face on a face off. Your supposed to see the act, not call the embellishing act. Dean Warren has to go with [referee] There must be a way to get rid of this guy. Is there a way we can tract sic and total minors called by referees this year. We could then get the minors they call per game. … or with 2 [referees on the ice] it is impossible? Warren and [referee] out of [team's] games. Give them to [referees].
Thanks to Dellow’s investigative work, the only Warren-reffed game in February of 2007 in which a player had three high-sticking penalties was on the 24th, a game between the Panthers and the Bruins. Gregory Campbell was called for the high-sticking, and Savard drew the call that Colin Campbell seemed to particularly take umbrage with. The “biggest faker going” remark seems to apply to Savard, given that by saying “I had him in [city],” he appears to be referring to New York, where Savard played while Campbell was an assistant coach.
Campbell spoke to TSN on Monday regarding the matter, but commented only on emails sent to Walkom regarding a tripping call on Gregory in a different game.
“For me, it’s much ado about nothing,” Campbell told TSN. “Stephen and I would have banter back and forth and Stephen knows I’m a (hockey) dad venting and both of us knowing it wouldn’t go any further than that. Stephen would laugh at me. The game in question (when Gregory Campbell was penalized late in the Atlanta-Florida game) wasn’t on TV and I was asking Stephen to find out for me if it was a soft call. That’s all there ever was to it. The (refs) working that game are still in the league, aren’t they? Stephen handled the officials, just like Terry Gregson does now, and I’ve got a lot of emails to those guys asking about this soft call or that soft call and that’s in a lot of games. I’m not ultimately responsible for the (on-ice) officials, that’s Terry Gregson’s responsibility, but I have to answer to GMs on these calls.”
Campbell famously chose against throwing the book at Matt Cooke when he delivered a blindside hit to the head of Savard last season. If one wanted to draw a connection between what the e-mails allege and the lack of punishment on Cooke, they would appear to have a case, depending on the authenticity of the e-mails.
The Bruins politely informed media on Monday that Gregory Campbell, who of course now plays for Boston, would not be taking questions about his father. The league, however, did offer a comment to TSN later in the day.
“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 said. “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. Its 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.”
|Gregory Campbell shows concern for Brandon Prust||10.27.10 at 1:47 pm ET|
In a brief chat with Gregory Campbell following the Bruins’ practice on Wednesday, it came up that it could be seen on twitter that he had called Brandon Prust to apologize for his high-stick that got Prust right around the eye late in the second period of team’s 3-2 loss to the Rangers on Saturday.
“Really?” Campbell asked. “Did he put it on there?”
It was a reporter who had tweeted it, but that, not surprisingly, is Campbell. A quiet guy who isn’t looking for headlines when he does something like check on an opponent after an unfortunate play.
Campbell, who hails from Tillsonburg, Ontario, knows Prust a bit, as Prust is from the nearby city of London. Campbell said the two see each other “out and about” and at golf tournaments during the summer. The B’s fourth-line center said that despite not being “best friends,” he felt it was important for him to offer an apology for the high stick.
“That’s a pretty dangerous thing where you get cut near the eye or on eye, so I just wanted to make sure that he was alright. I’m an honest player,” Campbell said. “I didn’t mean to high-stick him, and I just wanted to make sure he was fine.”
Campbell, who has now picked up two double-minors through six games for high-sticking, said that he is making a conscious effort to avoid seeing a third. He doesn’t want to develop a reputation, and, more importantly, doesn’t want to see anybody get hurt by his doings.
“Of course I don’t want it to happen again. The first two times, I didn’t mean for it to happen. I think the coaches know what kind of player I am, and if you watch the plays, it’s totally unintentional and part of the game.”
Prust went to the hospital after leaving the game on Sunday but was able to play the Rangers’ next game against the Devils.
|Gregory Campbell feeling fine after puck to head and reportedly sorry for high stick||10.26.10 at 1:58 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Gregory Campbell said on Tuesday that he’s not feeling any of the effects of a puck that hit him in the back of his head in Saturday night’s 3-2 loss to the Rangers. Campbell said that he got eight or nine stitches between the first and second periods, and that they should be out around this weekend.
Campbell’s helmet also took a beating on the play, and asked whether his initial concern was a concussion or the cut he suffered, he said his first thought was the former, saying “It’s a big blow to the head” and that such thinking is natural. Even so, Campbell, who has had a few concussions, noted he didn’t think that the play had yielded such an injury at the time. He grinned in saying that was focused on “trying to look like I was fine” when he came back out for the second and third periods.
Campbell took his second high sticking double-minor of the season on Saturday when he got Brandon Prust near the eye with 30 seconds to go in the second period. Prust left the game but was able to play the next day against the Devils.
'I don't mean to high stick anybody,' Campbell said following the game. 'I am a pretty honest player. I don't like spending time in the box, especially when we're behind. The team did a great job of killing [the penalty], but it was unintentional.'
It seems he proved how honest a player he was, as Andrew Gross of the North Jersey record tweeted Tuesday that Campbell called Prust to offer him an apology for how he handled his stick. Not surprising from as nice a guy as Campbell is, but a good story nonetheless.
|Fourth line a source of energy for Bruins||10.23.10 at 1:53 pm ET|
If you think very highly of the Bruins’ fourth line after its most recent example of high-energy play on Thursday, you’re not alone. The combination of youngster Brad Marchand, newcomer Gregory Campbell and fan favorite Shawn Thornton has made for a line that has impressed many on the young season, including the guy who determines their minutes.
“That's as good as I think we've seen our fourth line here in the years that I've been here as far as what they do, I've been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to start these guys,” Claude Julien said following Saturday’s game. “They're reliable enough that if the other team puts their top line in, they know, and what's good about them is that they don't question what they're going to do. They put pucks in deep and they're going to work and they work hard and they seem to be in sync with the fore-check, but they seem to set the stage and the tempo for the game early on.”
The line can expect about 10 minutes of ice time a game, with Campbell and Marchand both seeing time on the penalty kill. Thornton and Campbell both have a plus-one rating, while Marchand’s is even. There’s a lot to like, and the members of the fourth line are taking pride in it.
“We work hard,” Gregory Campbell said following Saturday’s morning skate. “The coaching staff has given us a lot of confidence and that helps out a lot as a player. [They've] kind of expected us to do more than just be a responsible checking line. That’s something that we have to take pride in, to be an energy line and to be responsible and to be hard to play against. On the flip side of that, we have to try to create things, and that helps a lot when we have three good lines that are playing before us, and for us to go out there at key times in the game and provide that energy and wear the other teams down. It helps over the course of a game and the season.”
The players undoubtedly appreciate the minutes that they’ve been given each night. Marchand knows that if they are to continue getting as much ice time as they’ve gotten, they’ll need to prove capable of passing each test they face. Going against Alexander Ovechkin and the Capitals’ top line on Thursday was the most recent example of them doing so, and perhaps a big reason for Julien’s postgame praise. Marchand hopes that as the games pile up, the fourth line continues to handle whichever line they’re up against.
“I think that the main thing as that we want to take advantage of the other teams’ fourth lines,” Marchand said on Saturday. “We just want to get it deep in the other team’s end and try to take as many pucks to the net as we can. We want to be defensive and be accountable in our end. It’s nice of [Julien] to trust us against other team’s top lines. We played against Ovechkin’s line there the other night, and I think we held our own, so it’s nice that they trust us and they know we’re accountable out there.”
|Chiarelli conference call hits||07.15.10 at 7:16 pm ET|
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli spoke very highly of all four players the Bruins were able to sign on Thursday. Gregory Campbell was given a two-year deal that helped both parties avoid arbitration, while defenseman Adam McQuaid received a two-way deal that allows him to go from Providence to Boston with a little more flexibility for the team regarding waivers. The Bruins also gave one-year deals to 22-year-old defenseman Andrew Bodnarchuk and 24-year-old forward Jeff LoVecchio. Here are Chiarelli's comments:
'He's a very versatile player, and if you look at his stats other than his goals and assists, he blocks a lot of shots, takes a lot of faceoffs, actually logs some good minutes.
'With Gregory, it's versatility, it's grit, and he's another guy that can play up and down the lineup.'
'I think he's close, but the way we structured the deal is that the first year is a two-way deal and the second year is a one-way deal, so we're projected a little over the course of the term that he is going to need waivers, so that will be something that we'll have to deal with at the time.
'He showed a real good progression in Providence. I think [Providence Bruins head coach] Rob Murray and [assistant coach] Bruce Cassidy have done a good job with him down there. Even [former P-Bruins and current Islanders coach] Scott Gordon before that. He's maturing as a player and he's a big, strong kid and he's shown a lot of compete. He showed me a lot of compete and he showed me a lot of progress in practice and when he was playing up here, so he's close.
'I think he has a chance to be a real regular in that five-to-six pair, and who knows? With this defenseman position, it's a hard craft to learn now in these rules. He's showing me he can learn it, which is very promising, so we have him as an NHL player in very short order, and he made progressions even from there.'
'I think Andy had a real solid year last year. The year before I thought he had more downs than ups, but last year I thought he really figured out the game and he simplified it for his gain, so I saw a guy who's turning the corner a bit. He's still quite young, but he's got good speed and good compete and he did play with us a little and I didn't mind his game up with us. When I say he simplified, I think that's important for a defenseman, and Adam [McQuaid] certainly had to go one way and he had to upgrade his skills a little bit, but he plays a simple game.
Andy tended to run a little bit and he had to dial it back, and he's done that. To me that's a sign of maturation and I thought he had a good year last year.
On being able to groom NHL-caliber defensemen:
Whenever we can turn these players and watch them develop and have them close to becoming meaningful players, it's always good. That's what you strive for. That's what we strive for in developing these guys, and with Adam and Johnny Boychuk in Providence, even to a certain degree Mark Stuart ' when I was here, he was a bit in Providence ' we're putting out some defensemen and it's nice to see.
'He really missed his first year pro and we were able to assess him last year, because he had the injury his first year pro. Last year, while it was really his second year pro it was his first year playing. He's a big guy who can kill penalties and can skate. I really have to see more of him beyond just the one year. He's shown us enough that we wanted to bring him back and we feel he has a chance to play some games and add to our depth.'
|Campbell, three others inked by Bruins||at 3:34 pm ET|
The Bruins announced on Thursday that they have signed center Gregory Campbell, who had filed for arbitration and had a hearing scheduled in Toronto for next Thursday, to a two-year contract. Campbell was acquired by the Bruins in the Nathan Horton trade with the Panthers last month. He totaled just 17 points in 60 games last season but scored 13 goals a season prior and is a presence on the penalty kill.
Defenseman Adam McQuaid was also given a two-year deal while defenseman Andrew Bodnarchuk and forward Jeff LoVecchio were each given one-year pacts. The 23-year-old McQuaid played in 19 contest for the Bruins last season, scoring his first goal on February 7 against the Canadiens. He added 10 points in 32 games for the Providence Bruins. Bodnarchuk played in five games last season with the Bruins but did not show up on the scoring sheet, while LoVecchio, considered a strong defensive forward, picked up 24 points last season for Providence.
In signing Campbell, the team has avoided one of its cases of arbitration. The Bruins still need to agree to terms with winger Blake Wheeler, who made $2.8 million last season. Wheeler’s agent recently told WEEI.com that there has been “not much talk” between the two parties.
|Report: Bruins, Campbell close||07.14.10 at 7:27 pm ET|
The Boston Globe is reporting that the Bruins are close to avoiding arbitration in at least one case. Center Gregory Campbell, whom the Bruins added last month in the Nathan Horton trade with the Panthers, is inching close to signing a two-year deal, according to the report.
Kevin Paul Dupont writes that the deal is expected to bring Campbell an expected salary of between $1.1 million and $1.3 million, a raise from the $800,000 he earned last season. Should the Bruins give him such a deal, they’ll have nowhere near enough to sign Blake Wheeler, whose arbitration hearing is set for July 27, and second overall pick Tyler Seguin.
Campbell scored two goals and had 15 assists last season with the Panthers. He had 32 points the season before is considered a solid penalty killer. In parts of six seasons, all with Florida (though he played in just two games in 2003-2004), Campbell has totaled 85 points in 363 games.
Comcast Sportsnet first reported that the center and Bruins were close on a deal. Campbell is the son of NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell, who received a great deal of attention last season for taking no action against Matt Cooke for his March 7 blindside hit to the head of Marc Savard.
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