Jordin Tootoo is a player who plays with a lot of passion and wears his heart on his sleeve. But in Sunday's 4-3 overtime victory over the Vancouver Canucks, things were a bit more personal for the New Jersey Devils left-winger.
According to Tootoo, Canucks forward Alexandre Burrows had allegedly been jawing with Tootoo in the penalty box during the second period. During the altercation, Burrows apparently shouted a few "personal slurs" in the direction of Tootoo who did not take kindly to the verbal harassment.
"If you're going to talk the talk, you've got to walk the walk. To make the remarks he did about my personal life and family is classless and unacceptable in this day and age," Tootoo said. "That's why I went after him."
Tootoo was also angry because Burrows was unwilling to drop the gloves with him after his verbal remarks.
Tootoo suggested that the NHL should look into the disparaging remarks and seek discipline for Burrows' comments.
"I have no respect for that guy. Nor should the league. They shouldn't tolerate stuff like that," Tootoo said.
According to Devils beat writer Tom Gulitti, general manger Ray Shero has spoken to the NHL about the incident, but does not know whether or not the NHL will take any action.
Hynes said Shero has spoken to NHL about what happened with Tootoo-Burrows in penalty box. Doesn't know what will happen after that.— Tom Gulitti (@TGfireandice) November 10, 2015
According to Gulitti, the league can only dish out discipline to a player if the remarks are in regards to race of homophobia. Tootoo has been quiet about the remarks and would not comment on the nature of Burrows' remarks and whether or not they were racial or homophobic.
Burrows spoke to the media regarding Tootoo's accusations:
"I don't think I crossed the line." Alex Burrows discusses the Jordin Tootoo incident from the game in New Jersey. https://t.co/k3s6axcPE5 — Vancouver Canucks (@VanCanucks) November 10, 2015
Emotions run high in sports and are often accompanied by some sort of trash-talking. However, there are boundaries that you do not cross and it appears Burrows may have crossed those boundaries. The NHL should take this matter serious and seek discipline if necessary. However, regardless if the NHL hands out punishment or not, Tootoo will definitely be dishing out a punishment of his own to Burrows next time the Devils-Canucks match up November 22.