Inside the mind of Colin Campbell, you might find a Minotaur.
Campbell is a man who is supposed to offer clarity and the final ruling on supplemental discipline in the National Hockey League, but with every verdict rendered, what follows is the confusion and vomit-inducing twists and turns one would find in an Ancient Greek labirynth.
Make no mistake, Raffi Torres, the man who used to commit despicable acts as an Oiler and not against them, deserved at least a pair of games for his high hit on Edmonton’s Jordan Eberle. Indubitably, it’s hard to disagree that Torres targeted the head, and, I have gone on record with my belief that head hits ought to be banned outright.
5 and a game, to penalize his team. Maybe an extra game because this act happened in a third period. Maybe an extra game because the blow came with the elbow out. Torres ended up getting four games from the National Hockey League, which is fair in a reasonable world.
But when the NHL decides to set an example for Raffi Torres, and does not figure that a reckless play committed by Zdeno Chara is worth a game, or, even this gem from LA King Kyle Clifford:
It’s not a serious miscarriage of justice as Canuck fans on Twitter with their caps lock key stuck would have you believe, but in the lingering wake of the Tyler Dellow bomb on Campbell which proved that the disciplinarian boss and head of the NHL warroom plays favourites (Exhibit 476: Marian Hossa being awarded a goal on this play a night after the Hawks were whistled for a bad call that led to them being scored upon in overtime, which probably led to an angry e-mail in Campbell’s inbox) there’s certainly a lot of evidence and reasonable outrage among hockey fans that, in a normal world, would have led to Campbell’s ouster.
Vancouver General Manager Mike Gillis, in his own, fantastic, subtle way, said that he thought the Torres hit was a “hockey play”, the same language used by the NHL’s Mike Murphy do describe the well-publicized hit by Chara on Max Pacioretty. The suspension announcement came a full 40 hours after the act, which means Vancouver will skate a man short against Minnesota tonight.
If the Canucks were in the middle of a playoff race, or, perhaps, if Raffi Torres were more useful on the Canucks roster than a playoff ticket in the hands of a Calgary Flames fan, there might be reason for more outrage.