Photo via @VanCanucks
The day started with Burrows’ agent posturing to Jason Botchford about how Alex Burrows deserved Patrick Sharp money and a five or six year term. That was followed up by the News1130Sports Twitter account predicting that Burrows was on his way out of Vancouver if the team managed to sign Shane Doan.
All of the handwringing was for naught, as Alex Burrows and the team have agreed to terms on a four year, 18 million dollar deal (cap hit: 4.5 million). Here’s the official press release from Canucks.nhl.com.
More analysis after the jump.
In July when we wrote about Burrows’ value and his next contract, we surmised that he would likely come in between 4.33 and 5 million per season on any extension he signed with the team. Not bad for a former member of the Greenville Grrrowl.
Earlier this week we updated that post, and noted that with Hartnell, Simmonds, Marchand and Brouwer all signing deals worth roughly 4.5 million per season (give or take a few hundred thousand), there wasn’t a lot of "wiggle room" for the Canucks on the price point of this extension.
Burrows’ production over the past few seasons is consistent with the production we see from the league’s superstars. For example, he was tenth among all NHL skaters in even-strength goals/60 rate in between the two lockouts. When you correct those numbers for context (a whole whack of offensive zone-starts, and his role as the Sedin twin’s trigger-man) – 4.5 million per season makes a lot of sense.
In addition to a significant raise, Burrows’ new deal with include a full no-trade clause for the duration of the agreement:
#Burrows no-trade clause is for the duration of the deal. Not a limited no-trade clause.
— Dan Murphy (@sportsnetmurph) September 14, 2012
So, it’s a pretty safe bet that Alex Burrows will remain a Canuck until he’s thirty-five years old. It’s not hard to imagine that the no-trade clause may have helped the Canucks lop a year or two off Burrows’ asking price.
In addition to the fact that Burrows makes the twins more effective, signing Burrows to a four year extension (rather than to a six year deal with a lower cap-hit) is what makes this a reasonable bet for the Canucks. Based on Burrows’ production the past few seasons, he’s certainly worth 4.5 million per and I expect that he’ll live up to the terms of his contract in at least the first two season of the contract. After that, however, I’d wager that the contract becomes a good deal less efficient.
Burrows has always been in good shape and he’s also a smart player who has never dominated with his speed or physicality – so he could age better than most. I find it difficult to imagine, however, that Burrows will be able to maintain the same level of performance – especially on the defensive side of the puck – that he currently brings to the team. A four year deal minimizes the risk to the team, and Burrows presumably gets to pocket a nice signing bonus in advance of the lockout. Win-win!