Auger should get two for opening his mouth
There isn’t a whole lot that hasn’t already been said regarding the Alex Burrows/Stephane Auger ordeal, which took place last night during a Canucks and Preds game.
But, as is almost always the case, I have a nickel or two to toss in the well myself.
TSN’s Bob McKenzie has made great mention of the old-school adage, which suggests hockey’s on-ice policing is an eye-for-an-eye system, even involving referees. Burrows is definitely not known for his Lady Byng-like qualities and can’t deny his theatrical performance on an apparent hit from behind in early December, which Auger bought as a legitimate injury.
This incident clearly upset Auger, feeling his reputation was tarnished, and he decided to “tie the game” so to speak. And yesterday during warm up, a conversation took place between the two, followed by a Burrows-led parade to the penalty box for – at the very least – questionable calls. One of which was even for unsportsmanlike diving, just for some added embarrassment.
Auger has yet to give his account of the conversation and it will no doubt differ from Burrows’, but I challenge anyone to try and convince me the 28-year-old Canuck was lying when he said Auger told him to expect retaliation. If Tim Roth’s weekly television drama has taught me one thing, it’s a quivering upper lip equals genuine passion. And Burrows’ flappers were vibrating like a humming bird’s wings during that media scrum.
I’ll bet anything that what Burrows said happened is what actually happened. Besides, I’ve never been one to openly advocate the Mensa-level of professional athletes, so I find it a tad difficult to believe this is all some elaborate scheme to ruin Auger’s career.
And so, while I have to agree with McKenzie’s assessment that Burrows has simply fallen victim to the NHL’s old-school ways, I still believe Auger should be suspended, if not fired.
This genius told his target what he was going to do and then he actually did it. Not only that, but he rubbed salt in the wound by doing it over and over (three penalties on Burrows) and gave the kid his own little room to sit and watch Nashville score the game winner.
Did he honestly believe he was so special that he could blatantly screw a player – and his entire team – out of valuable points and not endure repercussions? McKenzie said in his TSN.ca blog that the NHLOA would most definitely come to Auger’s defense because they don’t like watching a colleague take heat.
They should hang the idiot out to dry like he’s Sean Avery in a cowboy hat. Players always tolerate pesty teammates because they can be valuable on the ice but once the mouth starts going to far – i.e. Avery – the players will shift their loyalty.
The same should work for refs. An official, who will stand up to any player can be very beneficial to everyone but a constant effort to avoid going too far is equally important.
When players make mistakes they are plastered all over every sports show but you’ll never hear about the discipline of an official. That’s fine when the errors they make are simply human-oriented but when they are pre-meditated the circumstances change, in my mind.
I believe the NHL should make a public example out of this guy. I’m not asking for a stoning or anything, I just want to see a sports highlight show open with a suspension announcement in the coming days. I’m sick of the officials being untouchable no matter what they do, and this is a chance to make due a little.
Of course, pardon me for my opinions on officiating if sometime before you read this the NHL refs present six or seven straight games of consistency.