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The Burrows/auger Saga


Kubby31

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Need to wait for both sides of this story. From what i saw of the questionable calls, it could have easily gone either way. There are certainly tons of examples of brutal calls out there,, and i wouldnt classify any of those in that category.

As for the pregame conversation,,,its quite possible the Ref was giving him a heads up that he better not pull any ***** on him, like he did last game, and thus the misconduct.

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An example needs to be made with Auger to help make sure this rarely happens again(hopefully never).
you're assuming what Burrows claims is true...

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=305888

Guess what? Burrows gets fined $2500, Auger gets nothing.

I'm not at all surprised... players know they can't publicly criticize the officials so that was a sure fine... and since it's impossible to prove Auger deliberately made a bad call, there's nothing they can do to him... of course, they may have reprimanded him for being so stupid but the league won't make that public... what the league would do if it appears necessary is put him on 'super, secret probation' and basically look for an excuse to fire him, e.g. poor job performance -- though you can be sure Auger would counter with legal action...

Really interesting story. The unfortunate thing is that very little can actually be confirmed (ie. what they said, was he really faking, were the calls because of this or that, etc) but you can bet the league, players, and referees will all have their eyes peeled for a while now.
the thing is, even if Auger admits he said he was going to do it, how can you prove intent when he made the calls? first of all, almost all penalty calls are judgement calls, so it doesn't matter that a vast majority of people may think it was a bad call, as long as the referee thought it was the correct call, he didn't do anything wrong... and even if 99.9% of the people think it was an atrocious call, to say he made a deliberate bad call implies that officials are never wrong except when they do so deliberately...

basically, everything is circumstantial, so unless Auger is dumb enough to admit he deliberately blew the calls, nobody can prove otherwise...

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the thing is, even if Auger admits he said he was going to do it, how can you prove intent when he made the calls? first of all, almost all penalty calls are judgement calls, so it doesn't matter that a vast majority of people may think it was a bad call, as long as the referee thought it was the correct call, he didn't do anything wrong... and even if 99.9% of the people think it was an atrocious call, to say he made a deliberate bad call implies that officials are never wrong except when they do so deliberately...

basically, everything is circumstantial, so unless Auger is dumb enough to admit he deliberately blew the calls, nobody can prove otherwise...

While I agree with the other parts of your post, if Auger did admit he said that would be enough IMO, even if he made the calls with the best of intentions a ref saying that is crossing the line and compromising himself. We have no proof he said it, no one does so that's all that matters but when things like this come out it's definitely not good for the game. I mean really, now every bad call for the next few weeks this will consistently be brought up as evidence the refs are crooked.

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I'm not surprised that Burrows was fined and Auger has received no discipline. There's no way to prove Auger said what Burrows claimed he said, and there's no way to prove Burrows' previous 'embarrassment' of said referee was the reason Auger called 2 minor penalties against him in the 3rd period of the Nashville game. Do I believe Burrows? Yes. Is there anything anyone can reasonably do about it? Not really. Not unless the NHL wants to discipline a referee based on a 'he said/she said' argument. If anything, hopefully the NHL makes strides towards improving on-ice officiating through closer review/evaluation, or something. That would be good.

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i find the whole things absolutely fascinating. i wonder how often this happens? why did burrows speak out now? no way he's the first to hear something like it and i believe burrows. make-up calls used to be the norm in hockey, only they happened during the games not during rematches, not that i can recall at least.

i don't mind if auger isn't publicly reprimanded i just hope the league takes a closer look at the refereeing around the league. it's become a gong show. time to tighten the reigns. i don't pay good money for the stripes to dictate the outcome... <_<

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Auger probably told Burrows that he made him look bad last game with a dive. I'm sure the refs watch the tapes from the games and Burrows totally embellished a hit from behind. Probably told him he won't fall for it again. I really can't believe a ref would come right out and say "he is going to get him".

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It wouldn't make sense for a player to come out and say what he said knowing that he could lose a good chunk of money and playing time.

1) Burrows makes $2M a year... the most a player could be fined for criticizing the officials is probably $2500 (I say probably because the copy of the NHL Constitution I have actually states $1k, so I'm led to believe they've boosted all the fine amounts OR the league is calling this 'On-ice discipline' in which case the CBA only allows for a $2500 maximum fine)... I don't know if I've ever heard of a player being suspended for criticizing the officials, the Constitution and CBA make no mention that it is even a possibility... so, he wasn't going to lose a lot (to Burrows) of money and it was unlikely he would be suspended... and this all assumes, Burrows even considered this stuff before speaking...

edit: found this "The Vancouver Province reports that the NHL talked to both Burrows and Auger "at different times Tuesday," and that the $2,500 is "the maximum allowable fine and a player cannot be suspended for criticizing officials."

2) the same argument could be used for Auger's position of NOT saying it... and the difference for Auger is if he's done in the NHL because they can prove it, there's really no where else he can go to officiate for anywhere near the same money... if he gets fired for using his position to 'get' a player, no league worth talking about will employ him as a referee ... Burrows can always go play in Europe or the KHL, for probably close to the same money, since there's no stigma if he gets banned/blackballed by the NHL for criticizing an official...

the 'it'd be really stupid if he did it' argument actually works much more in Auger's favour than Burrow's...

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1) Burrows makes $2M a year... the most a player could be fined for criticizing the officials is probably $2500 (I say probably because the copy of the NHL Constitution I have actually states $1k, so I'm led to believe they've boosted all the fine amounts OR the league is calling this 'On-ice discipline' in which case the CBA only allows for a $2500 maximum fine)... I don't know if I've ever heard of a player being suspended for criticizing the officials, the Constitution and CBA make no mention that it is even a possibility... so, he wasn't going to lose a lot (to Burrows) of money and it was unlikely he would be suspended... and this all assumes, Burrows even considered this stuff before speaking...

edit: found this "The Vancouver Province reports that the NHL talked to both Burrows and Auger "at different times Tuesday," and that the $2,500 is "the maximum allowable fine and a player cannot be suspended for criticizing officials."

2) the same argument could be used for Auger's position of NOT saying it... and the difference for Auger is if he's done in the NHL because they can prove it, there's really no where else he can go to officiate for anywhere near the same money... if he gets fired for using his position to 'get' a player, no league worth talking about will employ him as a referee ... Burrows can always go play in Europe or the KHL, for probably close to the same money, since there's no stigma if he gets banned/blackballed by the NHL for criticizing an official...

the 'it'd be really stupid if he did it' argument actually works much more in Auger's favour than Burrow's...

Ah, okay. I wasn't aware that the maximum fine for this kind of situation was only $2,500.

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Ah, okay. I wasn't aware that the maximum fine for this kind of situation was only $2,500.
it's strange but the Constitution appears to be much more forgiving of players who criticize the officials than non-playing personnel...

as I said in the copy of the Constitution I have, which appears to have older fine levels, the max fine for a player is only $1k while non-players can get fined $10k max... and I don't know of any coach or front office person who makes the kind of money even an average everyday player would make...

I guess the league accepts that players get emotional and may speak before they can check themselves...

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An interesting quote that I found in this article, that I suppose fits in the "refs watch squad" thread as well.:

http://www.thestar.com/sports/hockey/nhl/a...ed-burrows?bn=1

"Their job is to be objective and I think they do a great job of that," he [Jamal Mayers] said. "We certainly know which refs like certain teams. Certain refs don't like a team; maybe you complain a little bit too much and they're sick of hearing your bench. Other than that, I haven't heard of or seen anything where it's directed at a particular player."

"We know which refs like certain teams. Certain refs don't like a team..." :huh:

To me, there should be no place in the NHL for this kinda of nonsense.

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I find it difficult to belive a ref would be so stupid as to admit to a player beforehand that he was "going to get him "

It was discussed on TV, that if, as Burrows says auger told him this, why didn't Burrows report this conversation to his coach / GM before the game started ?

I personally think Burrows misunderstood the conversation that took place

It wouldn't make sense for a player to come out and say what he said knowing that he could lose a good chunk of money and playing time.

Pocket change

And they know it

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"We know which refs like certain teams. Certain refs don't like a team..." :huh:

To me, there should be no place in the NHL for this kinda of nonsense.

you're right, there should be no place for it but sadly it's the norm. there's so little accountability that i've heard refs openly admit to disliking certain teams. :(

I find it difficult to belive a ref would be so stupid as to admit to a player beforehand that he was "going to get him "

It was discussed on TV, that if, as Burrows says auger told him this, why didn't Burrows report this conversation to his coach / GM before the game started ?

I personally think Burrows misunderstood the conversation that took place

i don't think the conversation seems that far-fetched tbh. the only thing that surprises me is that burrows is the first to admit it publicly.

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:angry: pathetic!
once again, only if you fully believe Burrows and/or are willing to punish someone whose livelihood depends on his honesty and integrity, and for which a comparable opportunity does not exist, WITHOUT any evidence, based solely on the accusation itself...

btw, this is what Colin Campbell is saying Auger said:

Auger's side of the story would appear to be that he told Burrows he "didn't need the help" in making a call like that, and registering his displeasure.

(this is not a quote from Campbell, but how the Yahoo Sports blogger summarized Campbell's explanation of the situation)

which, believe it or not, is a pretty reasonable comment by an official who feels he was embarrassed by the actions of a player, and IMO does not imply he is out to 'get' him... there is a LOT of communication between players and officials which many people apparently seem to be unaware of...

also, Campbell explained that the timing of Auger's comments were problematic: Going up to Burrows before the game (again from the blogger)

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Here's an idea. Why not just have those mic's the refs are already wearing turned on all the time?

Of coarse not on in the sense that the arena can hear their every word, but on so that the league can monitor everything a ref does. Problem solved. Any accusations are easily dealt with... just consult the tape. It could potentially also help with incidents where there were claims of racial slurs among players or players badmouthing refs in game and things of that nature. I believe the refs wear wireless lavs, which are omni-directional and would pick up the sound of everything in the immediate vicinity.

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My guess is the truth is somewhere in between.

On the one hand, I can't imagine Burrows would just make it up, on the other hand I can't imagine Auger would be so stupid to tell him he was going to get him back and that Burrows wouldn't have sounded alarm bells as soon as that was said.

I'm thinking Auger probably said something to Burrows like "you really made me look foolish the other night", and then after the bad calls, Burrows put some context around it and assumed he meant "I'm going to get you".

I think the NHL is just raising suspicion by keeping this silent, if Auger were to give his version, maybe more people would be on his side? My guess is the NHL knows the truth and while it isn't as serious as people are making it out to be: which is why they won't discipline Auger, it is serious enough that it would be embarrassing if it got out.

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My guess is the truth is somewhere in between.

On the one hand, I can't imagine Burrows would just make it up, on the other hand I can't imagine Auger would be so stupid to tell him he was going to get him back and that Burrows wouldn't have sounded alarm bells as soon as that was said.

I'm thinking Auger probably said something to Burrows like "you really made me look foolish the other night", and then after the bad calls, Burrows put some context around it and assumed he meant "I'm going to get you".

I think the NHL is just raising suspicion by keeping this silent, if Auger were to give his version, maybe more people would be on his side? My guess is the NHL knows the truth and while it isn't as serious as people are making it out to be: which is why they won't discipline Auger, it is serious enough that it would be embarrassing if it got out.

Yeah good point. Auger may have even said something like "You made me look foolish the other night, do that again and I'll get you" meaning I'll get you for diving on the play not retaliate with made up calls.

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My guess is the truth is somewhere in between.

On the one hand, I can't imagine Burrows would just make it up, on the other hand I can't imagine Auger would be so stupid to tell him he was going to get him back and that Burrows wouldn't have sounded alarm bells as soon as that was said.

I'm thinking Auger probably said something to Burrows like "you really made me look foolish the other night", and then after the bad calls, Burrows put some context around it and assumed he meant "I'm going to get you".

I think the NHL is just raising suspicion by keeping this silent, if Auger were to give his version, maybe more people would be on his side? My guess is the NHL knows the truth and while it isn't as serious as people are making it out to be: which is why they won't discipline Auger, it is serious enough that it would be embarrassing if it got out.

do you really believe people would side with an official over a player no matter what the NHL says? you already have people assuming Burrows is telling the truth based on absolutely no evidence... no matter what the NHL says, there will be some people who won't believe it or claim a cover-up...

and the NHL is talking about it... it's just that they aren't making a big deal out of it so people may be missing it...

NHL's Campbell talks about Burrows fine

Thursday, 01.14.2010 / 4:40 PM / News

NHL.com

NHL Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell was a guest on the NHL Live! radio show Thursday, addressing the recent fine of Vancouver's Alex Burrows for comments about NHL referee Stephane Auger officiating of Monday's game between the Nashville Predators and the Canucks. Here is an edited transcript of Campbell's conservation with hosts E.J. Hradek and Deb Placey.

E.J. Hradek: Did Burrows back off a little bit when he talked to you? Because after a game, the guy is worked up, so did he back off on his comments at all?

COLIN CAMPBELL: He didn't back off on what he said, but he did say that the conversation that Stephane did was in French. I asked Alex if Stephane said to him that he was going to get you. Alex Burrows said it was something like that in French because the conversation took place in French, so that's the first step. Our referee, Stephane Auger, said there was no chance that he said or indicated that it was pay back or whatever you want to say. Alex told Stephane that it's not something to address before the game because, as you see now, it could be used against you if the team doesn't like the calls.

We have this kind of banter all the time. I don't think our League, our players or coaches won't have to say you can't talk to referees, but Stephane was just saying to Alex Burrows before the game -- 'Look, from the previous game, where I assessed the major to the Nashville player, it was based on the fact you were injured and the game misconduct was rescinded, but I watched the video and it didn't look like you were injured. And he said to Alex I don't need you to help me in that context, I was calling a penalty. I didn't need you to help me assess a major, but when you went down like that I don't need that kind of help and I don't appreciate you embellishing plays like that in the future and that was the extent of it.

Deb Placey: I'm so pleased you came on because it sounds like it makes a lot of sense that it was a conversation where one side said something that was a phrase or way of talking and the other side may have misinterpreted it?

COLIN CAMPBELL: I understand very little French, but what's said in one language might be, when interpreted in English, might mean something else. Unless you can get a neutral third party to substantiate these things, it can be tough. If you get into a Rangers-Jersey series, a Philly-Pittsburgh series, it gets pretty passionate, there's a lot of money at stake.

Coaches hate coaches, owners dislike owners and fans are against each other. If someone issues a code or something to the effect, 'He said this about me,' do we then throw that other player into an investigation, throw him off his game. You have to be careful and measure everything in these situations. I don't want to throw either individual under the bus to question his integrity and, first and foremost, our referee works for us. He's worked for 10 years (Auger) and we hold him to a high standard. We've watched his work every single night, so it's not something we take lightly.

-30 -

I think Auger's explanation is reasonable, if he felt he was made to look foolish, he's going to tell Burrows that... I think a lot of people just don't realize that the officials and players talk to each other all the time so they're making it to be something nefarious because these two talked before the game...

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1) Burrows makes $2M a year... the most a player could be fined for criticizing the officials is probably $2500 (I say probably because the copy of the NHL Constitution I have actually states $1k, so I'm led to believe they've boosted all the fine amounts OR the league is calling this 'On-ice discipline' in which case the CBA only allows for a $2500 maximum fine)... I don't know if I've ever heard of a player being suspended for criticizing the officials, the Constitution and CBA make no mention that it is even a possibility... so, he wasn't going to lose a lot (to Burrows) of money and it was unlikely he would be suspended... and this all assumes, Burrows even considered this stuff before speaking...

edit: found this "The Vancouver Province reports that the NHL talked to both Burrows and Auger "at different times Tuesday," and that the $2,500 is "the maximum allowable fine and a player cannot be suspended for criticizing officials."

Glenn Healy, on The Hotstove Lounge, also wondered why the fine was $2500, and not $1000... so I guess the fine amounts in the By-Laws haven't been changed...
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