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Campbell move continues front office transition



Campbell The man who in December 2001 stopped a potential trade of Vinny Lecavalier to the Maple Leafs is out of a job, kind of.

Ron Campbell has been named a "special adviser" to Tampa Bay's new ownership group, and is no longer team president, a position he held since the summer of 1999. Campbell, 52, was instrumental in turning the St. Pete Times Forum into one of the nation's busiest entertainment venues, and was ultimately responsible for the day-to-day running of the club, which won the 2004 Stanley Cup title.

But the hands-on approach by new owners Oren Koules and Len Barrie made Campbell's position redundant. Koules even moved into Campbell's Times Forum office. It was unclear if Campbell was pushed out or stepped down, but he is expected to remain an executive vice president for previous Lightning owner Palace Sports & Entertainment.

An official announcement is expected Friday.

Campbell will be best remembered for stopping a proposed trade of Lecavalier during the 2001-02 season, when Lecavalier's feud with then-coach John Tortorella was like an open wound. Lecavalier had asked for a trade and then-general manager Rick Dudley decided at the time Lecavalier and Tortorella could not co-exist, figuring to reap a windfall from the transaction.

Speculation has been the Leafs were ready to hand over Nik Antropov, Tomas Kaberle, Jonas Hoglund and either prospect Brad Boyes or a first-round pick. But, as the story goes, Campbell, not willing to trade the face of the franchise and perhaps alienate fans who had grown to identify Lecavalier with the team, stepped in and, well, you know the rest of the story.       

[Last modified: Sunday, August 16, 2009 4:38pm]


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