Photo Credit: Sergei Belski / USA TODAY Sports
The dragon slayer will remain in Vancouver, at least for now.
On Thursday at 9 a.m. PST, the NHL posted waivers and Alex Burrows’ name was reportedly not present on unconditional waiver wire. Players without no-movement clauses – and Burrows’ deal only has a no-trade clause – have to pass through unconditional waivers before buyout proceedings can begin and this was the last opportunity to waive a player for buyout purposes before the close of the first buyout window.
All of this is a too-complicated way of communicating that we can infer from Burrows’ absence on the waiver wire that he will very likely remain with the club.
While Burrows will not be bought out, there were several players that are on their way to such a fate:
Buyouts: Korpikoski, Carle, Boll, Seidenberg, Greene, Jackman
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) June 30, 2016
Those players represent the last gasp of the secondary free agent market and there are a couple of intriguing names there. Matt Carle never lived up to the big contract he signed in Tampa Bay, but he’s a reliable puck-moving defenseman who is decently well suited to a secondary sort of rule. At 35-years-old Barrett Jackman is getting a bit long in the tooth, but he’s still a sturdy defensive blue liner and could be a bargain bin replacement for what the club is set to lose in Dan Hamhuis.
Getting back to Burrows, there’s still a slim possibility that he could get bought out in a second buyout window later this summer. A lot of things would have to happen for that to occur though, like, farmhand Mike Zalewski filing for arbitration so as to open the second window and some unanticipated domino falling that might significantly alter the Canucks’ plans. All told it seems pretty unlikely at this point that Burrows will be bought out.
When I spoke to Trevor Linden on Wednesday (you can read my Canucks free agency preview for Sportsnet here, if you’re interested), I asked him about the possibility of Burrows being bought out at the 11th hour. While the Canucks president described the situation as fluid and called Wednesday a “pivotal day” – a massive understatement in retrospect – Linden admitted the club was leaning toward retaining Burrows.
“I have a tremendous amount of respect for Alex and the value that he brings to our group and his leadership. He’s been a career Vancouver Canuck,” Linden said, later adding: “He’s not only been a teammate of mine, but a great Canuck here.”
So Burrows will most likely be back next season. It seems he might have more arrows to shoot.