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Stephane Auger to officiate first game in Vancouver since Burrows incident

Oct 26, 2011, 2:30 PM EDT

Stephane Auger

TEAM 1040 radio in Vancouver is reporting that Stephane Auger, assigned to referee tonight’s Blues-Canucks game at Rogers Arena, will officiate in Vancouver for the first time since the infamous Alex Burrows incident.

As a refresher, here’s what transpired between Burrows and Auger on Jan. 11, 2010:

Burrows, who scored two goals in Vancouver’s 3-2 loss to the Nashville Predators on Monday, received a 10-minute misconduct with four seconds left in the game after complaining to Auger, who penalized the Vancouver player twice in the third period.

“After my second penalty, I skated by him, and he said, ‘If you say a word, I am going to kick you out,’ so I didn’t say a word because I still thought we could come back and win the game,” Burrows said after the game. “But with three seconds left and the faceoff outside the zone, I thought I could tell him what I thought about him.”

Burrows said Auger — an NHL official since 2000 — told him during the warm-up that Burrows made him look bad when he drew a major penalty after Predator Jerred Smithson charged him in Nashville on Dec. 8.

“It was personal. It started in warm-up before the anthem,” Burrows said. “The ref came over to me and said I made him look bad in Nashville on the Smithson hit.”

Smithson got a major penalty and a game misconduct for a charging penalty on Burrows.

“He said he was going to get me back tonight, and he did his job in the third,” Burrows said.

After an NHL investigation, Burrows was fined $2500 for his comments, Auger received no punishment and Vancouver dreamed up a billion paranoid conspiracy theories about how the man was trying to keep it down. Or, as we refer to it locally, “the usual.”

You wouldn’t believe just how long this carried on for, even though Ron MacLean of CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada had a lot to do with that. He ripped Burrows quite severely on the program, so much so that Burrows’ family filed a complaint to CBC (with Burrows’ father calling it “verbal assassination.”) That gave the story roughly 14 extra weeks of shelf life.

As for tonight’s game, there are three other officials working not named Stephane Auger. They are Dan O’Halloran (referee), Don Henderson and Thor Nelson (linesmen).

  1. jpelle82 - Oct 26, 2011 at 2:52 PM

    ref gets the benefit of the doubt when we’re talking about a whiny little biting bitch like burrows

  2. daiello - Oct 26, 2011 at 3:23 PM

    Are the future assignments of NHL officials generally available in advance?

    • Mike Halford - Oct 26, 2011 at 3:57 PM

      Only on the day of the game. The league-issued game notes list the referees, linesmen, video judge and, perhaps most importantly, the anthem singer.

      • Nowhere Man - Oct 26, 2011 at 6:03 PM

        Mark Donnely is a sand bagger. Sing the whole damn song!

  3. canucks18 - Oct 26, 2011 at 4:06 PM

    Jpelle you clown did you even watch the game including the instances Burrows talks about?

    • danphipps01 - Oct 26, 2011 at 7:01 PM

      No kidding. Speaking as someone who despises that overrated little shit, he wasn’t making it up when he said Auger was out for his blood. He did it in the wrong way, whining to the cameras and making it as public as possible (see above “little shit” status), but the calls were as weak as they can possibly come. And if anything, Bettman calling Ron Maclean up to be his hitman only further validates it. I mean, for them to do a piece solely to discredit Burrows says something, don’t you think? If he was wrong they’d have just ended it with the fine and not taken him seriously. Instead, they ran a major news piece basically saying “But just in case you don’t believe us, here’s an exclusive CBC feature listing all the very important reasons why you SHOULD.”

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