NHL officials will meet with the Vancouver Canucks winger Friday in Toronto to discuss his alleged verbal attack on Tootoo’s family, Sportsnet’s John Shannon reported Wednesday.
The Canucks will already be in town for their game Saturday against the Maple Leafs.
Tootoo claimed Burrows made disparaging comments about his “personal life and family” during the New Jersey Devils’ 4-3 overtime victory over Vancouver Sunday night.
Tootoo, the first Inuit player to make it to the NHL, said Burrows made the comments while they were serving penalties in the second period.
Tootoo said the remarks were “classless and unacceptable in this day and age.” He said he challenged Burrows to a fight and Burrows declined. Tootoo did fight Derek Dorsett.
The 32-year-old Tootoo entered the NHL/NHLPA Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program in December 2010 because of an alcohol problem. His brother, minor-league hockey player Terence, committed suicide in 2002 following an arrest for drunk driving.
“I have no respect for that guy,” Tootoo said about Burrows. “Nor should the NHL. They shouldn’t tolerate stuff like that.”
Burrows defended his comments to reporters Tuesday.
“I don’t think I crossed the line,” Burrows said. “What I said, I’ve been told the same in the past, and I’ve heard it plenty of times throughout my career. I kinda think it should’ve stayed on the ice, where it belongs. For me, I’m just moving on.”
Burrows said that assumptions he took a swipe at Tootoo’s heritage or personal history are “absolutely false,” but he did not reveal specifically what he said to Tootoo.
“I’ve got a little more work to do on that,” a tight-lipped Colin Campbell, the NHL’s executive vice president and director of hockey operations, told Prime Time Sports on Wednesday regarding the Burrows-Tootoo incident.
(with files from AP)