(vol. 40W, no. 8; newsletter b.n.)
editor's note: In this edition of the newsletter, #67 writes about the NHL referee Stephane Auger who is being investigated by the NHL after Vancouver Canucks forward Alex Burrows accused the ref of being out to get him. So you won't be entirely lost, here's the background on that event ... “An investigation is underway about Auger's actions during a Canucks game against the Nashville Predators. Burrows said that Auger's grudge dates back to a game where Auger penalized the Predators' Jerred Smithson for a hit on Burrows. Replays showed that Burrows may have embellished the play and Burrows claimed that Auger said he would get revenge for the dive. It appears that may the case as Auger called Burrows for diving in the third period and then a dubious interference call. The Alex Burrows-Stephane Auger incident is not the first time a ref has been accused of going after an individual player. Former NBA referee Tim Donaghy recently wrote that several NBA refs had personal vendettas against NBA players.” Once again we remind you that the views expressed are solely the author's and do not reflect those of the Coastal Pirates Hockey Organization.

You know things are bad when Colin Campbell is calling GoodSports USA. (Yeah, that Colin Campbell.)

According to Steve Tunis, the NHL Senior Executive was so concerned with the situation surrounding NHL referee Stephane Auger that he made conference calls to not only NHL Referees, but also AHL, East Coast Hockey League and just about any other league he could find a phone number for. So, you can only imagine the scene that unfolded last Tuesday, when Baldwin, Brian, Vic and a few other “refs” were crammed into Steve's office to listen in on the call. Apparently Colin Campbell, was seeking to avoid the backlash that surrounded the NBA and the accusations that surrounded the incident with NBA ref Tim Donaghy.

Anyway, as pretty much everyone knows, NHL referee Stephane Auger approached Alex Burrows the other night during the pre-game skate. As Campbell was explaining the situation, he explained how Alex Burrows claimed that Auger approached him and said that Burrows made him look bad in the last game. Burrows claimed at this point that Auger said that he was “going to get even with him” ... and that's about the time the conference call started to go south, because apparently Brian Schlueter blurted out: “You can't do that !?” That in itself wouldn't have been a bad thing, but apparently Steve Tunis was not that familiar with the protocol involved in setting-up a conference call with the NHL and never bothered to put his phone on “mute.” Needless to say the listeners on the other end were not amused. And before Steve could react (and I have this on very high authority by someone who was in the room) Scott Baldwin chimed in “Well, I like to think that I follow the spirit of the rule. You know, some nights can be rough. And I have to be honest with you, there are some nights that Nicolosi looks at me funny and I think, 'that's it he's going to the box!'”

(According to my source, at this point Tunis was picking-up the phone receiver and slamming it down in an attempt to disconnect the call ... but apparently the call wouldn't disconnect.) Baldwin was, of course, oblivious to what Steve was trying to do because he continued on, “You know, its not like these games really matter.” At this point, Colin Campbell interrupted Baldwin when he yelled out, “WHO IS ON THE LINE?” (Nobody bothered to tell Vic that this was just a conference call and not a “video conference call” which probably explained why he dove under the table at this point.) Scott of course answered, “uh ... its Dave Kurasz.” There was a brief silence on the phone until Campbell responded “Are you stupid ass Mr Kurasz?” (According to my source, Scotty nodded in agreement and said just loud enough that he couldn't be heard on the phone, “well ... yes ...”) “And how do you spell Kurasz anyway?” Campbell demanded to know and then he continued on, “I am going to pull your Certification!” (Apparently Steve was slamming every button on the phone still trying to hang up the phone) Schlueter then blurted out. “Certified? You guys are certified? I didn't know anyone here was certified.” (According to my source in the room, no one ever heard Colin's response because the line went dead after Steve yanked the phone line out of the wall.)

Attendance (players): Genalo, Gucci, LeMatty, Matthews, Miller, Newcomb, Nicolosi, Maccanico (sub). Net: Harris.
Scratches: Cassens (AWOL), Farrell, Gesior.
Scoring: 1st period: 0-0 tie. 3rd period: 4-2 Pirates: Goals by Matthews (none); LeMatty (Gucci); Genalo (Maccanico); Newcomb (Genalo).
date of game: 1.13.10

WON 4-2


For a nearly flawless game on defense (and the insurance goal to boot).

For the goal that opened the floodgates.

For a strong defensive effort.