Campbell Out for 47 and Out of Sorts

Discipline issues have been in the headlines non stop this season. Now there is the Derek Campbell incident in Hull on Saturday night to consider. Campbell was handed a 47 game ban by head of discipline Moray Hanson.

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The video shows Campbell taking a uncalled high hit with an elbow involved from Stars d-man Nico Sacchetti behind the Dundee goal. Campbell then reacts and there is a ruck on the ice. After being ejected from the game Campbell is caught on film involved in another fracas with Sacchetti near the Dundee dressing rooms. In total Hanson handed 4 different bans.

15 matches for fighting off the ice
12 matches for an attempted eye gouge
10 matches for knee to the head
10 matches for excessive force to the head resulting in an impact to the ice

It is a good strong message from Hanson. Yes the original hit was not appropriate but the response by Campbell far outweighed what would normally be seen in a hockey game and Hanson was right to make an example of him as were the Hull Stingrays in immediately releasing him from his contract. Campbell came out immediately and apologised for his action but agreed with the punishment.

It is though also a shame for Campbell. These actions are not what have been associated with a player affectionately referred to as Soupy. Not known as just an aggressive player or fighter Campbell contributed on the score sheet as well. His style of play and leadership on the ice made him a favourite with fans and coaches. After spells in the EIHL with Manchester, Sheffield, Newcastle, Hull and Coventry as well as in the EPL with Manchester and Sheffield the 33 year old had tallied 372 points in 10 seasons.

Since moving to the UK to play with the Manchester Phoenix in 2007 Derek Campbell has made a life for himself. After settling in the northeast Campbell owns a hotel and a restaurant there. However his playing career could be at an end.

Although Campbell is eligible to play in the EPL it is unclear whether the ban is extended to cover games in that league. However clubs in the EPL should have a moral obligation to stick with the ban. The player committed an act that brought disrepute on the sport in the UK not just the EIHL and the punishment should be honoured. However would it really be too upsetting to invite a player who as shown such commitment and loyalty during his time in the UK back on to the roster following his ban?

Neil Tucker

Neil has written on ice hockey for many websites concentrating on British ice hockey mostly. Neil also covers ice hockey in other countries and organises his Blueliner Hockey Tour. A graduate of the Manchester Metropolitan University Neil turned his hand to hockey writing in 2009. As well as contributing on Blueliner Hockey Neil has contributed to Get Real Hockey and Slapshot Magasine.

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