TORONTO – It appears the Vancouver Canucks have ended their boycott of Hockey Night in Canada after meeting with officials from the CBC, extinguishing a feud that began when the program was highly critical of winger Alex Burrows.
Vancouver players refused interview requests from Hockey Night in Canada during last weekend’s 5-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks after host Ron MacLean rallied against Burrows for declaring NHL referee Stephane Auger was out to get him.
“Both the Canucks and ourselves have gone on record as saying we have put this incident behind us,” Hockey Night in Canada executive director Scott Moore said in an email to The Canadian Press Thursday. “We met on the phone yesterday and had a good discussion and agreed to move forward as partners.”
Burrows was fined US$2,500 by the NHL after he criticized Auger, alleging the on-ice official had admitted he was on a personal vendetta before a game on Jan. 11, telling the player: “you made me look bad so I’m going to get you back tonight.”
According to Burrows, Auger was upset at the player for embellishing to draw a penalty during a game in December. Burrows was called for diving, interference and unsportsmanlike conduct on Jan. 11, a 3-2 loss to Nashville.
MacLean drew the ire of Vancouver players during a segment with Colin Campbell, the NHL’s senior executive vice-president, in which he declared of Auger: “I can’t imagine he said, ‘I’ll get you,’ we all agree on that.”
The league did not discipline Auger.
Burrows, 28, had a 12-game point streak snapped Wednesday night against the St. Louis Blues. The Canucks won 3-2, earning their sixth straight win heading into Saturday’s game against the Maple Leafs in Toronto, which will be part of the CBC’s annual Hockey Day in Canada broadcast.
“It will be business as usual with Canucks/CBC beginning this weekend with HDIC,” Canucks media relations director T.C. Carling published on Twitter.