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Campbell steps down as head disciplinarian

VANCOUVER -- NHL Senior Vice President and Director of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell is stepping down from his role as the head of NHL discipline, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announced Wednesday at his press conference before Game 1 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final in Vancouver.

Campbell, who has been responsible for handing out fines and suspensions since July 1998, will be succeeded by Brendan Shanahan, who is currently the NHL's Vice President of Hockey and Business Development.

Shanahan was the man behind the League's Research, Development and Orientation camp that debuted last summer as a testing ground for potential changes to the sport. Shanahan also revamped the All-Star Game format to include a player draft; which was a critical success. Most recently, Shanahan was named to a blue-ribbon panel to monitor player safety.

While the announcement of Campbell's resignation as the head of discipline was announced Wednesday, discussions between he and Bettman had been going on for two months. Campbell will maintain his role in the Hockey Ops department.

Campbell had been on discipline duty for a dozen years, performing a job that Bettman called among the toughest jobs in hockey. "(He) deserves that the sentence be commuted," Bettman said.

Prior to serving in his position with the League office, Campbell was a defenseman for five NHL teams during a 12-year career before serving as the head coach of the New York Rangers from 1994-1998.