Report: Alex Burrows will not be suspended for instigating late fight with Kris Russell

Photo Credit: Sergei Belski/USA TODAYSports

An eye for an eye. Tit for tat. Rescinded instigator penalty for rescinded instigator penalty (although technically the league has decided not to rescind Alex Burrows’ instigator, they just won’t enforce his suspension).

Anyway it would appear that Vancouver Canucks forward Burrows will not be receiving a one-game suspension for instigating a fight with Calgary Flames defenseman Kris Russell late in Sunday night’s Game 3, despite his having clearly, y’know, instigated the fight. The news comes courtesy Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.

Let’s review the incident, shall we?


So what happened? It seems likely that while Burrows clearly instigated a fight with an unwilling player, he didn’t quite violate the spirit of the instigator rule. So while it’s impossible to argue that Burrows didn’t instigate a fight with Russell – based on a dictionary definition of the word “instigate” – it’s also pretty tough to argue that the fight was in retribution for something, or that it was about message sending. 

I’m guessing that the league’s reasoning here is that Burrows did instigate a late fight, but he did it without violating the spirit of the instigator rule.

It may be twisted logic, but hey, it’s the playoffs. 

  • MontanaMan

    For the most part, I don’t have an issue with either team as they’re both delivering cheap shots and it’s been exciting hockey. My only issue is with Bieksa who is known as a mouthpiece and a cheapshot artist. He calls out “Ferklund” (classless for a veteran) goes on to call him “dumb-dumb” then proceeds to replicate or exceed Ferland’s “dumb-dumb” act. If Bieksa wants to engage Ferland straight up I have no issues. But to jump him in the corner and throw punches against a defenseless player is bush league. Any tough guy in the league knows the code and Bieksa crossed the line. Lesson to the Flames – don’t trust Bieksa and careful when your back is to him.

    • Ruprecht

      Ferland has had his chances to square up earlier in the series and live up to the code, he’s declined.

      I’m actually surprised nobody has mentioned a suspension to Ferland for trying to blow his nose in Bieksa’s jersey.

      Lesson to the Flames, Bieksa isn’t the guy to try to nuzzle after running his team for 3 games.

      Matters of perspective I suppose.

      • Ruprecht

        Get serious. Bieska has never squared up with a player who can go and he will never engage Ferland unless he can jump them as we saw. Even then, he better hope the linesman are close by.

        • Ruprecht

          So we’ve established, it was a letter perfect Bieksa strike. But at least admit Ferland got snuggly with the wrong guy at the wrong time. If you’re going to live by the sword, you get speedbagged every once in a while with the game out of reach.

          • Ruprecht

            Sure, but that was about 5 freebies into the jackhammering. A little slow to realize his head was in the hornet’s nest. Let he who has never worn a diaper cast the first stone. Maybe Ferland was going in for a sniff?

  • Greg

    Lighten up everyone – both teams are fighting to win this series. Players on both sides are going to press the envelope to try and get an edge. Let’s just enjoy it for what it is – a fast-paced hard-hitting rock’em sock’em hockey hate fest. I love it. I have to say how impressive the C of red was in the saddledome last night – congratulations Calgary for such a great turnout by your fans.