This past Saturday on Hockey Night in Canada, Ron MacLean spent about 15 minutes with NHL disciplinarian discussing Alexandre Burrows and Stephane Auger. Or, should I say, Alexandre Burrows and his 'past'.
While everyone and their dog realizes the role that media plays in today's society, and how they are supposed to present both sides of the story, investigate, and be unbiased, Ron McLean provided us with the exact opposite of that.
You might expect that having the NHL's Chief Disciplinarian on your show might warrant some questions about the referee (Auger)'s decisions, his history, and how that was dealt with. McLean however, turned the 15 minute segment into an exercise in character assassination for Burrows, rather than discussing the issue, or at least discussing Auger's checkered on ice past (described below in a previous entry).
Ron MacLean / Colin Campbell Part 1/2
Ron McLean / Colin Campbell Part 2/2
Rather than say anything about Auger, here are some snippets of what McLean said of Burrows, including putting sarcastic words in his mouth.
"Burrows to Canucks trainer Mike Bernstein- 'I'm okay, has he signaled 5 minutes yet'"
"Absolutely unbelievable to any of us that this would go on" (When Burrows was talking to then Blackhawks Goalie Nikolai Khabibulin)
"Burrows has made his bed"
"I'm more upset that he accused Auger"
As Ron showed a series of clips illustrating Burrows 'history' on ice, I noticed one thing - the vast majority, he didn't do anything other than trash talk.
One clip showed Aaron Downey of the Wings spearing him before the game, and another showed a goaltender shoving him after a whistle.
It was nice to see the shoe on the other foot after the game, when Canucks' head coach Alain Vigneault appeared on CBC's After Hours segment to address Ron McLean's ridiculous tirade against Burrows.
Whether you are a Canucks fan or not, or like Alexandre Burrows or not, his history as a hockey player here is completely irrelevant.
Diving, and exaggerating calls has no place in the game. But that is not the issue at play here, nor is Burrows' past. The issue at play is an NHL official telling Burrows that he 'embarassed' the referee, and that we was going to pay him back.
Then, the pay back actually taking place and altering the outcome of a game.
McLean should have focused his time challenging Campbell on a referee putting his personal agenda before the integrity of the game. Ron, if you can't act like a legitimate journalist, asking tough questions and covering both sides of the story - you should stay out of journalism and return to being what you are - a host of a hockey show.