Let me advise you against uttering the words “things can only get better” in front of Alex Burrows these days, or he may very well slap you right across the face. The sad irony of that is that were he to do so, he’d probably go on to fracture his hand and miss another 4-6 weeks of action.
It has been that kind of year for Burrows, who after missing a combined 33 games during the NHL regular season with a broken foot and jaw, left this morning’s game against Italy after taking a knee-on-knee hit from Joachim Ramoser (GIF via @myregularface, whose masterful work has extended to overseas action and is something we should all be thankful for).
Some additional thoughts on Burrows just past the jump, who I hope won’t strain his cornea reading this particular post.
This obviously comes just a day after word came out that John Tortorella had been campaigning for ownership to buy Burrows out throughout the season. As I mentioned in the write-up of Gary Mason’s Team1040 appearance, it’s not the craziest idea, considering the money Burrows is due, and the hellish season he’s coming off of.
But, even if the team was considering – remember, the buyout window opens either June 15th or 48 hours after the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Final (whichever comes later) and lasts all the way through till 5 PM EST on June 30th – their hands would be tied on that front were Burrows to be injured. For all intents and purposes we may as well call this “The David Booth Rule”.
We’ll just have to wait and see what the diagnosis is, though it didn’t look to promising for Burrows as we saw him getting helped off of the ice by his teammates. This’ll hearken Canucks fans back to last year’s World Championships, when Alex Edler delivered a similar looking hit to Eric Staal, who wound up “being on crutches for about two weeks and went a long, long time without bending his knee” as a result of the play.
Either way, it may not be the worst thing for the Canucks to keep Burrows around and hope he got everything out of his system in this calendar year, rather than it being a sign of things to come..
it’s worth mentioning that Burrows saw his PDO take a catacylsmic tumble down from 103.7 (elevated, but not too far off from what he’d been posting for years) to 95.0 (grossly suppressed). The team was shooting 4.57% with him on the ice at 5v5, and the chances of that repeating itself next season seem slim to none. His other underlying numbers seemed to stay relatively stable, and if some of the percentages begin to normalize back in his favour, he could very conceivably get back into the 20-25 goal range next season. Unless he has (/will suddenly) experiences a significant decline in skills, it sure seems like a sucker’s bet to give up on him at this point knowing that you’ve still got to pay someone else to replace him in the lineup.
Of course, they may need to be open to some innovative strategies in order to keep Burrows healthy at this point.