By Joe Haggerty
VANCOUVER One of the few things that has soured Bostons trip to the Stanley Cup Finals has been the constant yammering from Vancouver and around the NHL, for that matter about unbiased calls and officiating are tilted toward the Bruins.
Its not just the normal rampant homerism in the Stanley Cup Final, however. There is a belief, most recently propagated by the Vancouver Provinces Tony Gallagher, that the fix is somehow in for the Bruins because NHL Hockey Ops Director Colin Campbells son Greg plays for Boston. It was an easy argument to make over the years despite the fact Campbell removed himself from any suspensions or other supplemental discipline decisions involving his sons team during his career with the Panthers and Bruins.
But now, with the news from multiple outlets that Campbell will be stepping down in his role as the NHLs sheriff (to be replaced by former All-Star Brendan Shanahan), the Colie Effect should be a moot point.
The younger Campbell was not made available for comment, but coach Claude Julien certainly thinks its a non-issue.
I dont think Greg has had any issues about it and neither have we, said Julien. Its been publicly known here that Gregs father had no decision to make with anything regarding our team. It was done fairly and it was somebody else dealing with those issues.
Even before Greg came to our hockey club, Ive always understood how tough Colies job was. Even when it didnt favor us, I always respected the decisions that had been made. Nothing has changed. Hes one of those guys thats no different than the referees. If he does something good nobody gives him a pat on the back, but the minute he does something people dont agree with hes criticized from all sides. It takes somebody special to do that job. Im one of those people that respect the jobs that people have in this game, and that includes referees. I dont think it will affect Gregs game much. His father is still with the league. Basically theres a responsibility being taken away from him for now.
One of Campbells outspoken teammates, Andrew Ference, put things a little more succinctly when asked about the supposed Colie Effect on the Bruins.
Colie doesnt deal with any of our stuff, so it doesnt matter, said Ference. Those insinuations are coming from people that have a lot less faith in the league than I do.