The NHL was right, and it wants the players on the Boston Bruins and Vancouver Canucks to quit mocking it.
That was the message delivered by NHL vice president of hockey operations Mike Murphy to the media on Tuesday at Walter Brown Arena. In addition to announcing the league had suspended Canucks defenseman Aaron Rome for the duration of the finals for a filthy hit on Nathan Horton, he commented on the Alexandre Burrows affair, which includes the initial biting incident as well as several incidents since (Sedin introducing Burrows as the “vegetarian” during Game 2, and fingers in faces by Maxim Lapierre in Game 2, and Mark Recchi and Milan Lucic in Game 3).
Murphy said the league handled the situation well, but he is not happy with ho the teams are handling the situation.
“We made the right decision on Alex Burrows,” Murphy said. “We spoke with Alex, but I’m not here to speak about that. I dealt with that. We’ve moved on past that.
“We will deal with the issues of the series, the choppiness that’s gone on. [Senior vice president of hockey operations] Kris King is in charge of the series. We’ve addressed it. We’ve addressed it with the teams as early as this morning. I will be speaking with both general managers and coaches before the day is over about the crap that we’re seeing and the garbage that’s going on and some of the issues.”
Of course, the league put itself in this situation. By not fining Burrows (at minimum), it opened itself to mockery from the players. Yes, the players should be more mature, but the league should not act like it is above it all. After all, it was the NHL’s handling of the situation that opened everything up to the mockery that took place.