Colin Campbell on the Simmonds/Avery incident


From the NHL (apologies for the spacing):


TORONTO (September 27, 2011) — Colin Campbell, National Hockey League Senior

Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations, today released the following statement

regarding an altercation during Monday night’s pre-season game between the New York

Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers:

“All Players, Coaches and Officials in the National Hockey League deserve the respect

of their peers, and have the absolute right to function in a work environment that is free from

racially or sexually-based innuendo or derision. This is the National Hockey League’s policy and

it will remain so going forward.

“It also is important to emphasize that the National Hockey League holds, and will continue

to hold, our Players to higher standards with respect to their conduct both on and off the ice.

While we recognize that the emotion involved in certain on-ice confrontations may lead to the use of highly charged and sometimes offensive language and commentary, certain lines cannot be crossed. Specifically, we have for many years emphasized to our Clubs and Players that

commentary directed at the race or ethnicity of other participants in the game (or even nonparticipants), or that is otherwise socially or morally inappropriate or potentially hurtful – including as it may relate to sexual orientation — is absolutely unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

“With that as background, we have looked into the allegations relating to the possible

use of a homophobic slur by a Flyers player in the Rangers/Flyers preseason game last night in

Philadelphia. Since there are conflicting accounts of what transpired on the ice, we have been

unable to substantiate with the necessary degree of certainty what was said and by whom.

Specifically, Flyers Player Wayne Simmonds has expressly denied using the homophobic slur

he is alleged to have said. Additionally, none of the on-ice officials close to the altercation in

question heard any inappropriate slurs uttered by either of the primary antagonists. In light of

this, we are unable at this time to take any disciplinary action with respect to last night’s events.

To the extent we become aware of additional information conclusively establishing that an

inappropriate slur was invoked, we are reserving the option to revisit the matter.”


Editor’s note: Imagine if they had these rules in the old days?

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  1. Paul in sunrise on

    Weak. Video was obvious. Tv caught Avery threatening about giroux clearly but no audio from essentially same distance from simmonds. Weak.

    And it’s a weak preseason game. Erixon and MDZ should start in the A.

  2. Leetchhalloffame on

    Of course not – it’s Avery. This league is a joke when it comes to #16. The only way an NHL player will ever be punished is if Avery is deliberately killed or maimed in an on-ice incident. Even then the video tape will probably be unavailable or erased and the alleged perpetrator will get 2-3 games at most. Soupy Campbell must go. He obviously holds a grudge because the Rangers dumped his carcillo.

  3. by the way, the Flyers’ guy between the glass heard everything all night, and his mics picked up most of it, too, and somehow Ed Snider’s Comcast mics didn’t hear a peep from Simmonds? Odd.

  4. Gift of GAB!

    What’s up? Haven’t seen you around here in a while, glad having you back!

    Hello Paul and Leetch and Carp and ilb, as well.

  5. Jlone2Bubblehead on

    So, is the NHL going to come out with a “safe list” of words and phrases that can be used? Maybe they should poll the FCC to view thier list. Carp, does the newspaper follow any kind of guidance as to what they are allowed to print?

  6. Jlone, I am not sure if there’s a no-print list, but we pretty much can’t print anything … even hell or sucks is frowned upon if it’s not in a critical quote.

    Maybe we should let the NHL use our blog list … carcillo, byfuglien, hartnell, bryzgalov, clutterbuck, aasen, etc.

  7. iWicky (Leeloo Dallas mul-ti-pass) on

    It think the whole thing is absurd, none of these people would have made it in the military. I mean “slurs” are part of the “lockerroom” and game environment. I am in no way shape or form condoning this in society, it is wrong! However on the playing field/ice, it is a different arena, and some things are said!

    I absolutely agree with you re.Bickel last thread!

  8. billybleedsblue on

    “somehow Ed Snider’s Comcast mics didn’t hear a peep from Simmonds? Odd.”

    lol, what a surprise.

    Wow, I guess this is a pretty big deal… Between this and the banana incident, hockey players/fans aren’t looking too… intelligent? Discerning? Tactful? Tolerant? HUMAN? Hmmm… I dunno…

    I’d love Avery’s response to all this to be a hat trick in Philly this season. I know there are lines in the sand over Avery with Rangers’ fans. That being said, I am a supporter. I want to see him succeed. When he succeeds, so does the team. LGR!!!!!

  9. I’m back as well and so is hockey, thank god! This is why I hate the flyers more than anything in my life, preseason and playing like punks. Of course Avery is not going to get the benefit of a doubt, which I still really don’t get. But come on when did we get so sensitive in hockey anyway. Trash talking is a way of life, let it go and smack em with a clean hard hit or drop your gloves and dance. BTW the list of scum just from the last day or so is growing Sather,Snider,Campbell,Bettman,Simmons,………

  10. LMAO at Carp at 8:03.I vote yay!

    As for the rest of this asshat issue….hartnell, byfuglien cooke meat, as my friends from Philly would say. Is it real go time yet. OY! Give me a hartnelling break.


  11. Jlone2Bubblehead on

    I agree that trash talking is a part of every sport. I promise you that even in golf there is a degree of trash talk. Phil Mickelson is famous for it. Especially towards the rookies. Wicky is correct about not making it in the military. The media has crippled the military with over involvement and it is overly involved in the on ice play. If you get in the ring, sooner or later you will get a black eye.
    I did like the fact that none of the refs heard anything… If they continue to hold that position through the season, this is a non issue. unless they install mikes all over and on each player. sigh… might just turn into organized team bouncy castle tag.

  12. Simmonds got away with it? Color me shocked.

    Feel like carcillo today. Just want to sleep for all eternity.

  13. No Gabbie, Richards, Stepan, Cally, Feds, Prust, Rupp, Shtaal, Wolski or Todd White
    That’s a lot of scoring and grit not in the lineup last night.
    Plus they played with a short bench most of the game after losing Avery and Sauer.
    The third period they looked a little out of it, like they just wanted to catch their plane to Europe without any further injuries.
    If anything I’d be concerned with all the dumb penalties. They pissed away the chance at a 3 min unreleasable PP with penalties of their own.
    McD played 26:27, more than any game last year, with 5:37 of that being SH

  14. billybleedsblue on

    Spider, ha, you may be right, but we’re gonna have to stick around to find out what happens. I’m not sure anyone really knows how things will iron-out this season. I have to admit though, I agree that Avery may be on his way out… perhaps definitely after his contract is up… Heh, I’d even take the Gordie Howe hat trick at the Classic! Now that would be fun!

  15. This is yet another example of why Colin Campbell should not even be a secretary to Gary Bettman’s secretary, let alone in charge of anything. Refuses just as he has for years to punish anyone for anything unless he doesn’t like them. Here’s a great idea – couldn’t get a corroboration from a ref, Simmonds denies it – why not actually get Avery to tell his side of the story? Then at the very least it’s “who do you believe” – never mind the video evidence. What bothers me far more than that this happened is the way Campbell and the NHL handle it. Thank God for Shanny actually having the guts to do the right thing – certainly nobody else who works for the league EVER does.

  16. wicky© (non visor wearing poutine addict) on


    happy early 26th!! You don’t look a day over 25

    Competitive banter if you will has been around long before any of us and will be long after we are gone, and it should be.

    The problem today is technology and the media make common lockerroom/competitive banter a national event!

  17. ive been harping about MDZ’s pedestrian foot work and speed for some time…. don’t see what he skills he has that is special besides long passes. If I had my druthers, i would love Drew Doughty and Bobby Ryan. Being that my druthers are a mere dream, I will settle for MDZ taking some serious skating lessons to add power.

    I’m not a huge Avery fan, but I respect him immensely for his stance on gender issues. That takes major guts in the NHL to say some of the things he has said.

  18. Olga Folkyerself on

    I’m guessing 6th in the East, plus or minus a position. Out in the second round, plus or minus a round.

    No Cup. FIRE SATHER.

  19. wicky – I save my slurs for Friday nights, then all my words are thlurrrz.

    Somehow, Simmonds not being punished has to do with the short leash Torts has on Avery.
    Until Aves got hurt he was having a nice game, aside from the dumb bench minor.
    Although his blocked shot to injury ratio wasn’t that good.
    He should have just faked like it hurt, like Drury always did.

  20. Adding Richards, a bounce back for Gabby and a general increase in production due to the growth of our core should be huge considering how many games were lost by a goal last year.
    But the Rangers MUST remember what butters their bread. A gritty, hardworking game with solid team defense, blocked shots and of course great goal tending. I have a fear of Gabby/Richards having success playing more of a finesse game and other players trying to copy it. That’s not to say that other players aren’t capable of making pretty plays just that they can’t allow themselves to stray too far from the identity they’ve established. I’m very excited.

  21. Avery needs to stop whining. I get it, he is sensitive towards the gay community but the stuff that comes out Avery’s mouth is equally as wrong and probably worse.

    I’m glad Simmonds wasn’t suspended for something as minor as this. What happens on the ice, should stay on the ice unless it is really bad like racial or if the player was actually gay but come on, that word gets used all the time when tempers flare…

  22. Ddebened

    Don’t you know? There is no leash on Avery and Torts likes Avery very much! But, when it comes to MDZ…oh its a different story! Torts got MDZ so afraid that MDZ lost all hockey playing ability! This idea is well accepted here… But not when it comes to Avery…then everything is a myth.

  23. Is this the correct address to voice my opinion?

    c/o Colin Campbell
    National Hockey League – League Operations
    1185 Avenue Of The Americas
    New York, New York

  24. lol CCCP by his outrageously cocky tweets I don’t think he’s lost any confidence.
    Did you see the one were he wished his Dad a Happy Birthday?

    I can see Torts doing that though he likes to step on his players to makes himself feel bigger.
    The team fails to improve because of it.

  25. “I’m glad Simmonds wasn’t suspended for something as minor as this. What happens on the ice, should stay on the ice unless it is really bad like racial or if the player was actually gay but come on, that word gets used all the time when tempers flare…”

    1. There was a time when racial slurs weren’t all that frowned upon. Everyone advanced from there and will from here as well.

    2. It shouldn’t matter one bit if player the slur is directed at is straight, openly gay, privately gay, whatever; there are gay fans who shouldn’t have to hear/see/read about it and there are gay players who should be able to expect more out of their employers than indifference when it comes to punishing the act.

    3. Of all the byfuglien guys to drop that sort of word … just unreal.

  26. political correctness has no place on the ice. Dont care if what they said offends a group of people, it has no business being public…

  27. the league was laughing about the constant f bomb tirade from Bruce B on 24/7

    maybe those were anti-virgin slurs

  28. Oleosmirf, Re: Comment at 10:45

    “I’m glad Simmonds wasn’t suspended for something as minor as this. What happens on the ice, should stay on the ice unless it is really bad like racial or if the player was actually gay but come on, that word gets used all the time when tempers flare…”

    So, essentially, what you’re saying is that it’s okay to call someone an F-word or a C-word or some other sort of sexual slur, as long as it’s not TRUE (which doesn’t negate the fact that you are implicitly degrading and insulting any person who IS gay or female or any other similarly related concept, or the fact that what someone does in bed–or anywhere else–is none of your byfuglien business)… but heaven forbid we call someone a RACIAL slur. Because that’s just wrong.

    Now, I point out to you that if we jump back to the 1960s, it would have been WHOLLY acceptable to call a person-of-any-non-Western-European-descent (Blacks, Irish, Italians, Asians of every variety, Eastern Europeans, Jews…) any manner of racial slurs. Those words would have been used all the time. Now, if someone throws a banana peel at a black man, it’s entirely unacceptable. Times, and cultural perspective, change. Sexuality is now something we need to be more sensitive towards, the same way we shifted our perspectives on race.

    The idea that some slurs are better than others is a hypocritical piece of carcillo. Yeah, I agree that on-ice-banter is a thing, and it’s an important part of sports, but there’s still no reason to pull that sort of cooke on the ice. And the idea you can distinguish between slurs is simply narrow-minded, at BEST, and homophobic bullcooke at worst.

  29. so on the ice, a player can threaten to kill Avery, his mother, ,and all of his relatives, but just don’t out him during the fight. Perhaps the NHL needs to make two lists: One of the vile names and threats allowed, and the other for the words they cannot say.

    When Larry Brooks defends Sean Avery, it is time for some changes.

    We imported trouble when we signed Avery. If he is behind MDZ’s NYC career ruining party life, we can only blame ourselves.

  30. Avery is sensitive to the gay community but disrespectful to the hetrosexual community?

    Will the NHL please take steps to protect the dignity of the hetrosexuals? Please?

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