Tony Gallagher, a Vancouver writer, brought up an interesting point the other day: “Is there a conflict of interest with the NHL and Boston Bruins?”
Gregory Campbell was acquired by Boston from the Florida Panthers last summer along with Nathan Horton in the deal for Dennis Wideman. Horton has been fantastic for Boston since he was traded there, scoring two series winning goals. Meanwhile, Campbell has been a serviceable fourth line player, the type of player Claude Julien likes.
The reason for Gallagher’s concern is that Campbell’s father (Colin) is the Senior Vice President and Director of Hockey Operations of the NHL (as well as its chief disciplinarian). From the Mike Richards and Matt Cooke incidents to the email issue earlier in the season (emails from Colin were sent to NHL refs about penalties against his son), Colin Campbell has been at the center of some fairly substantial controversy.
In the Bruins’ Game Seven win over the Tampa Bay Lightning, there were no penalties called, and the refs’ decision to digest their whistles was without question a huge help to the Bruins’ cause. Tampa had the hottest power play in the league, while the Bruins had the worst. Two of the referees in that game are also officiating Game One of the Cup Finals, and it’ll be interesting to see how they call the game.
This is Gregory Campbell’s first shot at winning the Stanley Cup. While he was mired in Florida, he did not have a chance at the playoffs once. But now that he is in the Cup Finals, the question of impropriety has been raised by a Vancouver columnist. Perhaps there’s no conflict of interest. Perhaps the league has already addressed this concern internally and devised a plan to ensure that the results are fair. But it doesn’t seem right to bash Gallagher for bringing up what is without question a legitimate concern.
What do you think? Should hockey fans be concerned about a conflict of interest? Post your comments below…