The NHL’s senior executive vice-president and director of hockey operations says he had talks with Philadelphia Flyers owner Ed Snider about the GM job but decided the time wasn’t right.
“We had discussions earlier on, not recently, after they decided to make changes there,” Campbell told The Canadian Press on Wednesday. “Mr. Snider and myself work closely together with the competition committee. We did discuss the situation with his team after Bob Clarke decided to step down.
“But it wasn’t the right thing for me personally for that discussion to continue at this particular time.”
Paul Holmgren is the interim Flyers GM. Reached by The Canadian Press on Tuesday night, Holmgren was not aware of Snider approaching Campbell for the GM job. Clarke also told CP on Wednesday morning that he was unaware of the recent developments.
“Colin Campbell and I have been friends for a very long time and we both have worked closely together on the NHL’s competition committee,” Snider said Wednesday in a statement released by the NHL club. “When Bob Clarke announced his resignation on Oct. 22, I contacted Colin and we had a discussion about the general manager position.
“Colin recently contacted me to inform me that he appreciated our conversation, but at this time he did not want to be a candidate for the position. Paul Holmgren will continue to be the interim general manager. There will be no other statements concerning this issue.”
Clarke stepped down after Philadelphia started the season with a 1-6-1 record, its worst start in 17 years.
Campbell played 11 seasons in the NHL before retiring in 1985 and joining the Detroit Red Wings as an assistant coach.
He joined the Rangers in 1990 as an assistant under head coach Mike Keenan and was part of the coaching staff when the Rangers won the 1994 Stanley Cup.
He became New York’s head coach upon Keenan’s departure after the cup win, and held the position until joining the NHL as an executive in 1998.
Campbell was also linked to a GM job with the St. Louis Blues late last season but Larry Pleau was re-signed after new ownership took over in the spring.
Campbell works out of the league’s Toronto office.