Today’s Profile: Alex Burrows
Alex Burrows professional hockey career did not begin like that of most of his teammates. He took the undrafted route from ball hockey, to the ECHL, to the QJMHL, to the AHL, and finally to the NHL. Seriously this guy’s story could be a movie with its humble beginnings to his current first line status.
Burrows quickly established himself as a pest to his opponents. In his early days with the Canucks he was not known for his timely scoring but rather his innate ability to kill penalties [particularly when paired with a certain #17] and get under the skin of the opponent.
In 569 NHL games, Burrows has tallied 294 points [152 goals, 142 assists]. It should be noted that the majority of those points have come during his time on the top line [242 points since the start of the 2008-2009 season].
Burrows was never supposed to make it in the NHL let alone play on one of the top scoring lines in the NHL. It was not until one fateful day back in February 2009 when the Canucks finally ended an 11 game losing streak [thanks to a SHG from BURROWS!] with playoffs looking near impossible, that Coach Vigneault decided to experiment with his lines the following game. Burrows was pulled from his usual checking role late in the game and put on a line with the Sedins…a seemingly questionable choice BUT guess what? It worked. The Sedins and Burrows clicked and quickly became one of the highest scoring lines in the NHL as they led the team in offense down the stretch that helped the team secure their Division title and a playoff berth. He finished the year with 28 goals.
When Burrows first began his run of success with the Sedins, he was being paid a league minimum salary of $500,000. Prior to the 2009 trade deadline, all the experts predicted that he would be traded as he was in the final year of his contract BUT instead he signed a 4-year contract extension [$8 million—a $2 million annual salary].
Heading into the 2009-2010 season brought a lot of questions wondering if Burrows could repeat the late season surge he had when playing the Sedins the year before or if it was simply a one off. It was not a one off…he led the team in scoring with 35 goals that season [including hat tricks in consecutive games!]. Since that fateful February 2009 day, he has been a staple on the top line with the Sedins while also playing BIG penalty kill minutes on the top PK unit with #17.
Most fans, probably never would have pictured him playing on the top line with the Sedins when the pesky Quebec native joined the team BUT most will agree that he has fit in with the Sedins like no other player…even better than the Anson Carter experiment.
Here’s a few highlights to remind you of his timely goal scoring history:
Alex Burrows scores his 2nd hat trick in consecutive games:
Alex Burrows, streak breaker at your service! Just as he broke the Canucks 11 game losing streak in 2009, he breaks Detroit’s 23 win streak at the Joe Louis Arena in 2012:
And of course one cannot forget one of the best goals in franchise history! Alex Burrows, dragon slayer at your service:
One must also remember that whenever Burrows scores a goal and shoots an arrow in his celebration, it is in tribute to his late friend Luc Bourdon who will forever be a Canuck. #gonebutnotforgotten #wemissyouLUC #LB28
It’s like I said earlier, Alex Burrows NHL career did not begin like many of his teammates and should he WIN the BIG game one June, it would be a perfect story book ending; if a film were ever made to chronicle his hockey career.
Burrows has played with the Vancouver Canucks for his entire NHL career, and will hopefully finish his career with the team. He has had a knack for scoring some big goals for the team: the goal that broke the 11-game losing streak in 2009, the goal in that swept the St.Louis Blues in the 2009 playoffs, the goal that finally slayed the dragon known as the Chicago Blackhawks in 2011, the goal 11 seconds into OT in game 2 of the 2011 SCF, and the goal that broke Detroit’s win streak in 2012 and more that we have yet to see.
“Burr, it’s cold in here, there must be some Alex in the atmosphere…”
Cannot wait for Burrows and the rest of the team to return to the ice creating new highlight reel moments that will delight us, drive us crazy and start many many debates among fans and experts.
As always, until next time, nuck said.