Skip to content

Report: NHL expected to have informal meeting with Alex Burrows about biting incident

Jun 2, 2011, 12:12 PM EDT

Alex Burrows; Patrice Bergeron; AP

Considering how well-documented Vancouver Canucks forward Alex Burrows‘ nibble was on Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron‘s hand, our initial instinct was to expect a one-game suspension. Jarkko Ruutu did receive a two-game suspension for biting Andrew Peters in a 2009 regular season game, after all. That being said, the NHL doesn’t exactly have a clear no-biting policy in its rulebook and this is the Stanley Cup finals we’re talking about, so maybe Burrows is safe to chomp away after all.

TSN’s Bob McKenzie reports that the league will probably have an informal meeting with Burrows about the incident but McKenzie said they probably won’t suspend him. McKenzie also notes that a decision should be made today, even though the NHL could have an opportunity to mull over their choice a bit longer since Game 2 won’t start until Saturday.

In the grand scheme of things, this isn’t a matter of earth-shattering importance. The Burrows bite didn’t leave Bergeron injured. It didn’t generate a goal for one of the team two teams either way. Instead it’s something of a “water cooler moment” to be shown alongside that stunning Raffi Torres game-winner. Here’s another chance to watch video footage of the bite.

This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!

Cam Cole of the Vancouver Sun was particularly bugged (and bemused) by the talk of a suspension on Burrows.

Come on, Patrice Bergeron.

It’s a man’s game. Get a tetanus shot, and move on.

Maybe Alex Burrows had no idea that was your finger in his mouth — it was a 5 o’clock game, the eating patterns were off a little, and he was hungry. Maybe he thought it was some sort of hors d’oeuvre, like a cocktail wiener.

And anyway, what was your finger doing in his mouth in the first place?

There the two of you were, a couple of nice francophone lads giving it to each other verbally in your first language, with linesman Pierre Racicot taking notes and trying to keep you from eye-gouging each other while you were facewashing and exchanging unpleasantries after the clock ran out on the first period of the Stanley Cup Final.

All good, clean fun for the whole family, and now this ugly accusation has come up, and the soon-to-be-ex National Hockey League minister of injustice, Colin Campbell, isn’t even able to rule on it because his boy Gregory plays for Boston.

What do you think, then? Should Burrows receive a fine and/or suspension for that silly move or should we all just move on? Let us know in the poll below.

  1. govtminion - Jun 2, 2011 at 12:32 PM

    One game off. Bergeron shoved his glove in Burrows’ face- just like every hockey player does to someone else at least once a game. The time-honored tradition of ‘smell my glove!’ was no different here than any other night- and yet, it’s pretty rare to hear of anyone else biting someone’s hand as a result. It’s on tape, he drew blood, there’s really no defense for it. Sit him for Game 2.

    And while you’re at it, NHL, see if you can ask the Canucks to finally stop diving. This isn’t soccer.

    • hystoracle - Jun 2, 2011 at 2:54 PM

      Agree that Burrows should sit a game for his in game meal.

      But calling out Canucks for diving? Really? Bruins are masters at the dive. Did you see the flop job that Thomas performed during the Canucks 5-on-3 in the second period. He deserves an Emmy for that performance. Burrows barely touched him incidentally and Thomas was suddenly flew back like some one shot him. AWFUL!

      • cannonblast14 - Jun 2, 2011 at 4:32 PM

        bad timing to defend the Canucks diving after what H. Sedin did last night. There is too much diving both ways though, its gotta stop.

  2. sknut - Jun 2, 2011 at 1:06 PM

    Unfortunately for non NHL fans they will see this and determine the NHL to be full of thugs and it takes away from what a great game that was. I said fine only in the poll, but maybe they should sit Burrows for a game and let him know this is the biggest stage and don’t take away from how good the on ice product is.

  3. deepthreat - Jun 2, 2011 at 1:24 PM

    Kick him out of the series.
    The NHL doesn’t need classless acts like him on its biggest stage.
    Go ahead and joust.
    Man up and fight.
    But biting a guy ?
    What if he injured Bergeron ?
    Also… check this guy’s record – he does this crap over and over and over.

    • hystoracle - Jun 2, 2011 at 2:57 PM

      over reaction. If you don’t want your finger bitten don’t stick it in a guys mouth. Should he have done it, No. But out the rest of the series is lame. Give me a break with that. Chara broke a guys neck and played the next game. t.

  4. hanktheking - Jun 2, 2011 at 1:35 PM

    If you bite someone, playing sports or not, you are a disgrace.

  5. florida727 - Jun 2, 2011 at 2:05 PM

    “Report: NHL expected to have informal meeting with Alex Burrows about biting incident”


    Translation: Burrows will not miss any games in this series, but may serve some small suspension to begin next year.

  6. mgp1219 - Jun 2, 2011 at 2:09 PM

    If you watch the video closely, you can see Burrows pull Bergeron’s hand toward his mouth and then chomp down on the finger. It was no accident. For this he clearly deserves a one game suspension.
    Like govtminion said, face washing goes on all the time in the NHL, not biting.

    I also agree that the Canucks are still up to their diving tactics. If i didn’t know any better, I would have thought that one of the Sedin sisters (don’t recall which one) had been shot when Ference shoved him during a breif scrum.

  7. thebucfather - Jun 2, 2011 at 2:10 PM

    Bergeron is a puss. He will probably get a concussion tomorrow from washing his hair to vigorously.

    • savoirlaire - Jun 2, 2011 at 2:16 PM

      Bergeron is a puss?!?! And the guy he is jostling with bites him like some 5 year old girl? Who’s the puss here?

    • mgp1219 - Jun 2, 2011 at 2:17 PM

      Don’t you thin it’s a pussy that bites rather than fights?

  8. miketoasty - Jun 2, 2011 at 2:19 PM

    Fine him big but don’t suspend him.

    One, this is the Stanley cup finals. The man did not throw a blind elbow into someones head, or throw any cheap shots at the end of the game (Looking at you Bruins). He drew blood and got a double minor penalty, I know the Bruins need all the help they can get but don’t throw out one of the best players on the Canucks cause of a stupid bite even though it was a completely uncalled for and stupid play.

  9. Sassyone - Jun 2, 2011 at 2:32 PM

    I’ve noticed that all comments are not fans of the Canucks. So he bite him, lets move on. Let me remind you about what Chara did to Max Pacioretty. he never got suspension for hitting him, in fact that’s far worse than biting someone’s finger.

    • mgp1219 - Jun 2, 2011 at 2:54 PM

      Find me one commentator,coach, general manager, etc… (OUTSIDE OF MONTREAL) that thought Chara deserved any disciplinary action and send me the quote, then you may have an argument that Chara actually did anything wrong. He finished his check and rubbed Pacioretty out, which happens alll the time in these games. It just happened in a bad location. Just because the player was from Montreal does not make it worse than it actually was. Yes, it was unfortunate, but since Pacioretty was texting from a movie theater 4 days after the hit, then I don’t think it was as severe as was portrayed by the Montreal media and the team itself.
      And, someone tell Montreal that the police have more important things to do than to investigate a hockey play. 911…PLEASE!!

      • hystoracle - Jun 2, 2011 at 3:02 PM

        The elbow to the back of the head to force him into the turnbuckle was a little excessive. anyone else on any other team and they would have gotten at least one game if not 2.

        And Chara’s history with Pacioretty had no impact on the way Chara acted on that play. It’s the middle of the season. And he is sending him head first into a partition. There is definitely something wrong with that or he wouldn’t have gotten 5 minutes and the gate.

        ANd I could care less about either team.

  10. cannonblast14 - Jun 2, 2011 at 4:41 PM

    “anyone on any other team and they would have gotten at least one game if not 2”
    What the hell do you not understand? Colin Campbell has nothing to do with Boston. He does NOT make decisions for anything that has to do with Boston. Not that hard to understand really.
    It ended up being a bad check, but it was not a suspendable one. Sorry

  11. tommytd - Jun 2, 2011 at 8:18 PM


    • miketoasty - Jun 3, 2011 at 7:22 AM

      I think you left your caps locks on. Or maybe you just want to feel important, who knows.

      This is the Stanley cup finals and when there isn’t a major infraction you can’t suspend someone like you would in the regular season. There is only a possible 6 games left in the season and to throw out one of the best Canucks players for any part of that is excessive for him biting someone.

      Also, there is no rule that says you can or cannot bite someone so technically it is not illegal so to his bite I say…… WHAT’S THE PROBLEM???

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. P. Kessel (1723)
  2. P. Kane (1332)
  3. S. Matthias (1193)
  4. D. Carcillo (1074)
  5. P. Datsyuk (1058)