SUN Hockey Pool

Shanahan defends Campbell

ERIC FRANCIS, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:33 PM ET

CALGARY - One of the byproducts of Brendan Shanahan’s overwhelming popularity the last week has been a tendency for fans and media types to revisit perceived shortcomings of his predecessor, Colin Campbell.

But Shanahan wants people to know just how integral Campbell has been in his and the game’s development.

“I just hope over time, people recognize how much he’s done for the game of hockey,” said Shanahan, who considers Campbell to be a mentor of sorts.

“Everything he has taught me and will continue to teach me — not just about the game but the process — has been a huge influence,” said Shanahan, senior VP of player safety and league disciplinarian. “In my mind, I am still a rookie and still need his guidance on process and making a ruling.”

While criticized for what many considered to be far too lenient and inconsistent disciplinary rulings throughout his lengthy tenure as director of NHL hockey operations, Campbell is still an integral part of the department and will continue to work closely with Shanahan.

“While it’s definitely my responsibility to make a decision, I use everybody in hockey ops whenever I can,” said Shanahan, who joined the league last year following a 21-year hall-of-fame career.

“It’s not their responsibility like it is mine to watch every game, but when people see the clip and weigh in and they have several years of experience, they’re too big of an asset to ignore.”

The bulk of the praise directed Shanahan’s way stems from his video explanations and dissections of every suspension, making it crystal clear for fans, players, media and front office types exactly what is and isn’t acceptable.

Shanahan told the Calgary Sun on Friday, the videos weren’t his idea.

“I believe Colie and (commissioner) Gary (Bettman) discussed it,” Shanahan said. “It was Gary who told me that this is what he wanted — he wanted us to make the videos.”

eric.francis@sunmedia.ca

On Twitter: @ericfrancis


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