Blog: When will a European join the NHL's brain trust?

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The Hockey News

The Hockey News

• Thanks to my wonderful friends (and Gary Green) at XM Radio’s NHL Home Ice channel, here’s a 10-minute audio clip of Ducks GM Brian Burke discussing my column from last week that proposed term limits for the NHL’s chief disciplinarian post currently held by Colin Campbell.

Burke clearly didn’t support the article, and it isn’t the first time we’ve ever disagreed on an issue. I respect his position, but I will say that nowhere in the column did I suggest a non-hockey person assume Campbell’s disciplinarian post whenever he decides to leave the job.

In fact, you could easily slot in a senior figure from the Canadian or American national hockey programs – or the International Ice Hockey Federation – for the position. And in doing so, you’d bring aboard an expert on the game unburdened by the appearance of belonging to (or aspiring to belong to) an old boys’ network.

And that brings me to a question I haven’t heard asked very often: When exactly are we going to see a non-North American hired as a top-level NHL official? Considering the league has employed Europeans as players for some 30 years now, you think it’d be high time somebody – maybe Jari Kurri, maybe Slava Fetisov – scored a prime spot in its management structure.

Perhaps that’s just pie-in-the-sky thinking. After all, the NHL has only had two European head coaches in its entire history, and we’re still waiting to see its first-ever European GM. Seems like there’s some representational balance that’s needed throughout the league, wouldn’t you say?

Adam Proteau is The Hockey News' online columnist and a regular contributor to His blog appears Mondays and Wednesdays, his Ask Adam feature appears Tuesdays and Fridays, and his column, Screen Shots, appears Thursdays.

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