Alex Burrows: ‘I don’t think I crossed the line’ with comments toward Jordin Tootoo

Alex Burrows denied crossing the line with comments directed at Jordin Tootoo.
Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images

Alex Burrows used a Tuesday media session to address the controversy over some inflammatory comments he allegedly made toward New Jersey winger Jordin Tootoo in a recent game against the Devils. Burrows insisted he was innocent of any wrongdoing, and although he refused to reveal what was said on the ice, he claimed he did not say anything out of the ordinary in terms of trash talk.

“I don't really think I crossed the line,” Burrows told reporters. “What I said, I've been told the same in the past and I've heard it plenty of times throughout my career. I kind of wish it would have stayed on the ice where it belongs.”

Tootoo told reporters Burrows made disparaging remarks about Tootoo's personal life and family during Sunday's 4-3 Devils win over the Canucks, and he said Burrows comments were “classless and unacceptable in this day and age.” 

But Burrows challenged that argument Tuesday as he strongly denied going too far with the typical “chirping” hockey players do on the ice. Burrows also refuted a claim that his comments had anything to do with Tootoo's ethnicity. Tootoo is the first Inuit player to play in the NHL.

“That's absolutely false. Absolutely not,” Burrows said when asked if his comments had anything to do with Tootoo's heritage. “I wouldn't go there. It's a pretty normal comment. I don't think I crossed the line.”

Burrows has been accused of “classless” behavior before. In the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals, Burrows infamously seemed to bite Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron during a scrum on the ice. The NHL did not take action after saying a review of the video from the game did not provide conclusive evidence of Burrows biting Bergeron. 

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