Perhaps Adam Burish is just afraid of what Chris Pronger can to do him when he comes to town in February, but no matter what his exact motives were for putting his tail between his legs and apologizing to the Flyers defenseman for calling him an "idiot" last June, we have to admit that it was pretty commendable.
In case you forget exactly what happened, let's get to the back story. Following Game 6 of the Final last year, as the Blackhawks celebrated on the Wachovia Center ice with the Stanley Cup, Burish clearly still only had one guy on his mind. Video:
It was an utterly pathetic statement from a guy who was, frankly, a Champion by luck and luck alone. He just happened to be a member of a Cup winning team last year.
He didn't even play in the clinching game, and as a result, we made fun of him endlessly for it. Hell, Pronger himself even got his kicks out of it, responding to a question at the time about what he'd do to Burish next time they faced each other. "Where is that, in the minors?"
Again, maybe it's just because he was reminded that he'll actually have to face Pronger and the Flyers sooner rather than later, but his apology on Sunday was pretty solid, if not still slightly pathetic. We can give him credit for that.
Here's Burish talking to David Amber, host of NHL On The Fly on NHL Network, on Sunday night.
Amber: What's the significance of February 5th?
Burish: February 5th. I have no idea.
Amber: Alright, well let me tell you. It's your first game against the Flyers and Mr. Chris Pronger. How would you characterize your relationship with Chris Pronger at this point?
Burish: You know what, I said some stupid things I probably shouldn't have after that game. It was just a spur of the moment thing and I'm not gonna sit and make an excuse about it because what's said was said. I've got a lot of respect for the guy. I think he's a Hall of Fame defenseman, one of the best that's ever played the game. Probably one of the hardest d-men to play against. He does everything well.
I really, truthfully didn't mean anything personal by it. It came out personal but it shouldn't have been said. I was embarrassed about it. I got a lot of respect for the guy and that team is so dangerous. They will be again this year. It was a heck of a series, it was a heck of a Final. Whatever happens moving forward happens but for me, I don't try to mean anything personal by it. It was a spur of the moment kind of thing.
Amber: No sweat.
Burish: I've moved on and hopefully, I'm sure they have too. I'm don't think a guy like Chris Pronger, a Hall of Fame d-man, is really too worried about a guy like me has to say at the end of the day.
Amber: Well, we'll find out on February 5th. *slightly maniacal laughter*
Yes, indeed. We will find out on February 5th. It's hard not to laugh at Amber's "no sweat" comment in the middle of Burish's rambling, somewhat nervous apology. It's almost like he feels bad for asking the question, something like "damn, man, if I knew you'd be this distraught in your response..."
Audio of the exchange between Amber and Burish is embedded below, because the transcript can't really convey things well enough. Moral of the story: don't mess with The Pronger.