The NHL will have to investigate the allegations made by Vancouver Canucks forward Alex Burrows after Monday night's game against the Nashville Predators. Burrows claims that prior to the game one of the referees (Stephane Auger) approached him during warmups and threatened that he was going to "get him back" because of an incident that occurred during a game back in December which embarrassed Auger.
For full details of the allegations by Burrows [click here]
As NHL agent Allan Walsh said this morning "IF the Burrows allegations are true, it is a black mark on the entire League. Imagine if Van misses the playoffs by 1 or 2 points."
Larry Brooks' take on the matter is right on in my opinion: "Anyone who watched the way referees called games involving Sean Avery last year knows about officials working with their own agendas."
To a certain extent, a referee is human, he's going to have personal opinions of certain players and these opinions may sway his judgment on a particular play. If a referee sees someone that he doesn't like getting an extra punch to the face he might turn the other way or might be quicker to blow the whistle if that same player "bumps" a goalie. But, if the allegations being made by Burrows are true, this is much worse. This is a premeditated decision by a referee to pay back a player, to make calls against him, to cost that player's team the game.
I for one hope that the NHL actually looks into this allegation. Fining Burrows and then going on with business as usual is not the answer. Hopefully the NHL does more than just throw out the cliche press release of "we're looking into the allegations."