Saturday, November 20, 2010
G. Campbell: 'I support Savvy 100 percent'
By Joe McDonald
BOSTON -- When your father is the vice president of hockey operations for the NHL, and he’s involved in a scandal with one of your teammates, it can’t be an easy situation to handle.
But both Gregory Campbell and Marc Savard have been true professionals, while Colin Campbell is being criticized for e-mails he wrote three years ago in which he called Savard “a little fake artist.”
When those e-mails became public recently, Savard made it a point to reach out to his newest teammate.
“I’ve talked to Soupy, he’s a great kid and we have no hard feelings against each other,” Savard said after finally practice with the team Saturday morning as he continues his rehab from post-concussion syndrome. “I can’t wait to get back and play with him and get that opportunity."
Campbell scored his second goal of the season for the Bruins in their 4-3 loss in the shootout to the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night at TD Garden. Afterward, Gregory Campbell spoke with a small group of Bruins beat writers about the situation that involves his dad and his teammate.
“It shows a lot of professionalism on his part,” he said of his conversation with Savard. “Savvy and I, there’s been no problem at all. He’s been great and I support Savvy 100 percent. That situation is totally separate from him and I, and my place on this team. My job is to play and help this team. I support Savvy 100 percent.”
Gregory Campbell had not talked about the situation until Saturday night. Meanwhile, he’s been playing extremely well despite the distractions.
“It’s my job. I support Savvy and the situation [post-concussion syndrome] that’s going on with him,” he said. “When that [Matt Cooke hit] happened, he wasn’t my teammate, and now he’s my teammate. I’m thrilled to be playing with a player like that.”
Campbell also has his dad’s back.
“I support my dad as well,” he said. “He has a tough job and is put in a tough position on every call. But at the end of the day, the job that he does and the job that I do are completely different worlds. I have to focus on playing hockey.”
This isn’t the first time the league’s top disciplinarian has been criticized, but Gregory Campbell is used to dealing with it and he won’t let his father’s position effect the way he plays the game.
“It’s something I’ve dealt with my whole life," he said. "I choose to play hockey. Nobody forced me to play hockey, and it comes with the territory. I do my best to try to block that stuff out and focus on what’s really important. None of that stuff, in my mind, is important. We have hockey games to win here and that’s the important thing.”
This time around, however, it’s a little bit different.
“When somebody in your family is getting attacked it’s not easy,” he said. “I support him and I support the decisions he makes. They’re not my decisions, but he’s pretty thorough at what he does. He has a lot of passion and a lot of pride and he works hard at what he does. For him to take it on the chin like he has, he’s in a tough position, but that’s the job he chooses to do. He expects the criticism that comes along with it.
"I think, in a situation like this, it’s more important to be supportive of both sides.”
Gregory Campbell said he’ll allow this situation to pass, and in the meantime, he’s focused only on doing his job.
When asked if he has talked with his father about this situation, Campbell said: “We try to separate that stuff. He’s supportive of me, too. When it comes to my career, my game, he enjoys watching me just like any other dad does. I’m in a different world right now -- he’s up in Canada and I’m sure there are a lot of things, a lot of heat on him. To be honest, I’ve tried to ignore what’s going on. It’s really not my place to get involved in that kind of stuff.”