Colin Campbell is done serving as the NHL's chief disciplinarian, handing off one of the most thankless tasks in hockey to Brendan Shanahan.
Campbell gratefully relinquished a key component of his NHL job yesterday before the start of the Stanley Cup finals between Vancouver and Boston.
For the past 13 years, the former New York Rangers coach has handed out the league's supplemental discipline - mostly suspensions and fines for dangerous play.
"It's a job that needs fresh eyes, a fresh look," Campbell said. "After 13 years of this, it's an all-encompassing job. You want to do the right thing for the players, for the game."
Campbell will continue to work for the NHL as a senior vice president and director of hockey operations, but he's done serving as the lightning rod for angry general managers and coaches who think the league has it out for their players.
Campbell and NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said they had been planning the change since March. They also said the move had nothing to do with criticism of Campbell and his son, Gregory, who plays for the Eastern Conference champion Bruins.
"I know this is one aspect of Colie's job that he hates," Bettman said. "It can be one of the most thankless tasks in the game . . . What a thankless job it is. After 13 years, at some point, you deserve to have your sentence commuted."
Campbell already had been excused from making any rulings during the Stanley Cup finals, just as he was any time the Bruins were involved in a league disciplinary decision. Gregory Campbell, who joined the Bruins last year after parts of six seasons with the Florida Panthers, is no stranger to on-ice taunts about his father's disciplinary role.