With Game 82 wrapped up for the Vancouver Canucks, one has to wonder if that game was the last we’ve seen of Alexandre Burrows in a Canucks uniform.
Vancouver Canucks forward Alexandre Burrows is an inspiring story to anyone who knows it. An undrafted player who worked his way from the ECHL all the way to the big league. He did it through playing with a gritty, in-your-face style and sheer determination. What he lacked in top-end talent, he made up for in work ethic and an under-the-skin attitude towards the opposition.
He’s the kind of guy that Canucks fans love and the rest of the league hates. And when he’s cross-checking your top defenceman while screening your goalie and simultaneously egging guys on, it’s easy to understand why.
Alex Burrows is absolutely infuriating to play against.
That attitude is what made him eventually find his way onto the Vancouver Canucks’ top line, alongside Henrik and Daniel Sedin. A time when he was referred to as the triplet, was undoubtedly one of the best Canucks, and really grew on a lot of us. While there, he had a record 35-goal and 67-point season with three more seasons being on pace for 50 or more points.
Not bad for an undrafted guy out of the East Coast Hockey League. Not bad at all.
Alas, all good things come to an end
Unfortunately, as we all know, this team is a long ways from the 2009-2011 Canucks that seemed to create stars out of nobodies and that’s where Alex Burrows finds himself today.
After a disappointing season that saw him generate a comparatively tiny nine-goal and 22-point campaign in 79 games played, much has been said regarding the future of Alex Burrows.
Burrows scored in the shootout of last night’s 4-3 victory against the Edmonton Oilers and did indeed fire that final arrow. However, that shootout goal won’t be enough.
Especially when you consider the Canucks new mandate of getting younger and getting faster. At 35 years old, Burrows is on the wrong side of both of those desires.
The fact he has a $4.5 million cap hit probably isn’t helping his situation either. As much as Burrows brings leadership and mentors the young guys, he also needs to produce at top-six level with that cap hit.
More from The Canuck Way
- Which team won the Bo Horvat trade?
- What to expect from newcomers Anthony Beauvillier, Aatu Räty
- Back to the future: How the skate uniforms became a regular Canucks’ feature night
- Canucks kick off 2023 with disappointing 6-2 loss to Islanders
- 2nd period penalty trouble sinks Canucks in 4-2 loss against Winnipeg
Something he hasn’t done since the season after the Canucks went to the Stanley Cup Final versus the Boston Bruins in the 2010-11 campaign.
Considering the Canucks also have Daniel and Henrik Sedin, Jannik Hansen, Brandon Sutter, Derek Dorsett, Alexander Edler, Christopher Tanev, and Bo Horvat to play a leadership role, it becomes a little more apparent that maybe what they need isn’t more leadership but more talent.
High-end, point-producing talent.
And at $4.5 million that’s exactly what you should get.
I’m a fan of Burrows and it’ll be bittersweet to see him go but when you consider the Canucks have oodles of much cheaper options to play a bottom-six role that also happen to be young guys in need of development in that bottom-six role, Burrows sort of becomes a roster spot that the Canucks need for someone else.
Someone they plan to have in their future past just next season.
At $4.5 million, it’s not like Burrows can spend the season as the 13th skater. That’s an expensive bench warmer.
First option, of course, would be to trade Burrows and try to get a return. Even just a draft pick. It would open up a roster spot and a sizeable amount of cap space for an extra free agent. Retain salary if you need to because the other option is a buyout.
It’s easy to make an argument either way. To keep him or to move on. As far as I’m concerned though, it’s time to move on.
The needs of the organization more or less dictate it. Regardless of how much I like the guy.
And with that, I respectfully bid possibly the greatest underdog in Canucks history adieu.