Saturday, November 13, 2010
Discipline: Colin Campbell Style
Through some careful digging online I was able to obtain a copy of the transcript for a meeting between NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly and lead disciplinarian Colin Campbell regarding Daniel Briere’s most recent suspension. The Flyers center was given 3 games in the press box for a stick swinging incident with Islanders forward Franz Nielsen.
Daly: Coly, after reviewing the game tape of the incident last night I think you need to come down hard on Briere. A substantial punishment will show the players that we are serious about protecting their safety. The stick is a weapon and I don’t think all of our players understand the danger it can pose to others.
Campbell: I completely agree Bill. Downright cowardly what Danny did. After a faceoff Nielsen had no way to protect himself and was at serious risk of being injured. To make matters worse the Flyers were on a 5 on 3 power play, meaning the Islanders had no way to defend themselves.
Daly: Great to hear you agree. What do you think, 10 games?
Campbell: Whoa Whoa, Bill. Slow down a little bit. I mean yeah it was dangerous, he used his stick as a weapon, Nielsen was a defenceless player, and it was in the last 5 minutes of a game.
Daly: Then let’s throw the book at him, make a statement that this is not acceptable behaviour in our league.
Campbell: But you’re forgetting one very important fact we need to consider.
Daly: What’s that?
Campbell: Danny is a good guy.
Daly: A good guy?
Campbell: Yeah a good guy. A guy’s guy, someone you could sit down with, have a beer and shoot the shit.
Daly: Coly, I don’t see how Briere being perceived as a “good guy” has anything to do with the length of his suspension for an infraction on the ice.
Campbell: Listen Bill, I called Danny’s father last night right after the incident. Mr. Briere assured me that this is completely out of character for Danny. Apparently he was a great kid growing up. Always did his dishes, completed his homework on time, AND even made his bed most mornings before school.
Daly: That’s fantastic, he sounds like he would have been a pleasure to raise as a son, but again, I don’t see the relevancy to the length of suspension.
Campbell: He didn’t even kiss a girl until he was 19. He was just a small town good guy growing up in Gateneau, Quebec. He used to play road hockey in the streets with his buddies until the sun set, and then come into the house for some hot chocolate.
Daly: He is a repeat offender Colin. You have suspended him for a stick infraction in the past.
Daly: Doesn’t that have to be taken into consideration?
Campbell: I didn’t realize how good of guy he was back then, or I probably wouldn’t have even suspended him in the first place.
Daly: I really don’t follow the logic of changing our guidelines regarding discipline based on whether or not a player is a nice person.
Campbell: I’ve been using this logic for years Bill, what’s the big deal? Like with Rick Ripen, yeah I probably should have given him 10-15 games for assaulting that fan, but he does a lot of great work in his community. He once helped an old lady cross the street after the light had turned red. Do you know what kind of guy helps little old ladies cross the street???
Daly: What kind of guy.
Campbell: A GOOD guy.
Daly: If you look at other leagues, the NBA, the NFL, even baseball. They have gotten serious about discipline. The NFL routinely hands out 3 and 4 game suspensions. Which is 25% of their season, given they only play 16 games. We need to make player safety a real priority if we want to be considered a legitimate top 4 professional league in North America.
Campbell: Completely different. Hockey players are awesome.
Daly: So is there anyone in the league you think is a “bad guy”, or is our entire league good guys who can run around and do what they please at the end of a game in a 5-1 blowout without fear of consequences?
Campbell: Oh no, there is one guy.
Campbell: Sean Avery
Daly: You’re one of a kind Coly.
Campbell: No Bill, I’m one of many.
Daly: Many what?
Campbell: Good guys.