The National Hockey League is banking that time -- in this case, one calendar year -- heals all wounds.
The league has assigned controversial official Stephane Auger to the Canucks - New York Islanders game Tuesday at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Auger hasn’t worked a Canucks game since that little episode one year ago today. You know the episode:
- Alex Burrows is called for a soft interference penalty in the waning minutes of a 3-2 loss to the Nashville.
- A furious Burrows says after the game that Auger threatened to settle a score in warm up.
- An NHL investigation leads to a fine for Burrows. If Auger was punished, it was not disclosed.
It was a given back then that the Canucks and Auger wouldn’t be crossing paths again soon. The team vigorously defended Burrows, publically stating that it believed its player. By extension, the Canucks were also thumbing their nose at Auger’s work.
Tuesday, you can bet that every Auger call will be evaluated on the Canucks bench, and by Canucks fans watching at home. The league may consider the Auger-Burrows case closed already, but in reality, only an incident-free game tonight can bring full closure.