Colin Campbell says job is 'thankless'

Updated: April 22, 2011, 8:40 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

NHL vice president Colin Campbell was defensive Wednesday when talking about the criticism he has received over suspensions.

Campbell, speaking on TSN Radio 1050, addressed his decision to not suspend the Vancouver Canucks' Raffi Torres for his hit on the Chicago Blackhawks' Brent Seabrook behind the net in Game 3 of their series.

Thankless job? Yeah, it's thankless. Especially at this time of year when there's so much at play here with the playoffs and cities are involved.

-- NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell

"Thankless job? Yeah, it's thankless," he said. "Especially at this time of year when there's so much at play here with the playoffs and cities are involved. When you rule on certain situations, all of a sudden you become public enemy No. 1 so ... Am I pissed off right now? Yeah, I'm pissed off."

Campbell also took issue with anonymous comments from general managers opposing his decisions.

"I don't make up this stuff as I go along," Campbell said. "We do lots of work on this. We send out lots of videos.

"You think I want to do the popular thing here? I don't get paid to do the popular thing. I don't get paid to do the easy thing to do," he said.

Campbell strongly disagreed that either of the hits Sidney Crosby suffered leading up to his absence with a concussion was worthy of a suspension.

"You guys are crazy when you say that," Campbell said. "What do you want to do to the game? You're nuts. There are some hits out there that we don't like, but ... Come on, you guys. You can't say that was dirty, you guys. ... You can't say that hit was dirty or you guys don't watch hockey."

Crosby absorbed a blindside hit to the head from then-Washington Capitals forward David Steckel during the Winter Classic outdoor game on Jan. 1. He was then checked into the boards by Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman on Jan. 5 and has not played a game since.

There have been a number of questionable hits in this postseason already.

"I've got a responsibility to try and protect players from other players in the game of hockey but yet keep the physicality in the game," Campbell said. "To keep jobs like your jobs, everyone's jobs. The game supplies a lot of jobs.

"That's what's thankless about this job. You try to do the right thing, you try to keep physicality in the game and you guys think that I enjoy hearing everybody saying Torres should have been suspended. Well that would have been the easy thing to do. If they want to go forward and say that type of hit or all head hits should be suspended, maybe this job will be easier, but I don't think so," he said.

ALSO SEE