Okay, maybe I’m a day late and a dollar short again, but I feel a few more things need to be said about the Ron MacLean segment on Hockey Night In Canada that examined the Alex Burrows-Stephane Auger controversy.
I’m going to be up front and say that I am a fan of MacLean’s work and think he does a great job for the CBC. I also don’t have a problem with him giving his opinion on the air. Sure, he’s a host and his primary role is usually that of a traffic cop in most segments, but he’s been around the game long enough — and the people involved in the game — to have a well-informed opinion.
With that out of the way, I do agree with most people from the West Coast in that the segment was one-sided and unfair and didn’t really get to the heart of the matter.
If you are going to cover a story fairly, you have to cover it from both sides. MacLean did not do that. MacLean shouldn’t have put words in the mouths of Alex Burrows, Roberto Luongo and trainer Mike Burnstein either.
Furthermore, if he was going to bring up Burrows’ history, he should have given a little history on Stephan Auger or at least debate with Colin Campbell the two calls that this whole story is essentially about. Then it could have been a pretty good segment. Unfortunately Burrows (and his past transgressions) was the sole focus of the segment and that’s too bad.
As Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault was leaving GM Place Saturday, he was quoted as saying he wasn’t done with MacLean and the CBC. So what could there be left to say or do? Well, the Canucks could request a spot on next Saturday’s show to give their side of the story and confront MacLean. Personally I don’t think they’ll do that because it would end up just giving the CBC what it wants — ratings!
So my best guess is that the Canucks’ only recourse is to not cooperate with the CBC on HNIC. Don’t make players available pre-game, during intermissions, post game or on After Hours. This would surely end up in a fine for the Canucks but may be the best way for the organization to show its displeasure.
The diving call Auger made on Burrows in the Nashville game was the second diving penalty of his career. The first happed in 2006. So if Burrows has been on a watch-list for quite some time then he must be playing pretty cleanly.
Did anyone else think the transgressions that the CBC showed weren’t all that disgusting? Burrows with a slight spear on Bouchard; Burrows leaves his feet for a hit; Burrows shoves a guy from the bench; Burrows trash-talks players prior to a game and during TV timeouts. Are you kidding me? What’s the big deal? Not big enough for a suspension obviously.
Don’t get me wrong, Burrows is no choir boy. The Jerred Smithson hit was a penalty but Burrows shouldn’t have milked it the way he did in order to draw a major. Stuff like that will make refs think twice about giving Burrows the benefit of the doubt, but it shouldn’t make them think about revenge.
That’s just my two cents, or one cent after tax.