Alex Burrows has earned his reputation as one of the least likeable members of the Vancouver Canucks, if you aren’t a fan of the Vancouver Canucks. Even if you are a fan of the Vancouver Canucks, Burrows has had moments where all you can really say is “Yikes!”. Not everyone can be as pleasantly boring as the Sedin twins. But Burrows is a lot more than just the controversy, and Canucks fans can thank him for some of the most memorable moments in franchise history. Here are the 10 best moments from Burrows’ time in Vancouver:
10. How he left:
Alex Burrows did not want to leave the Canucks, but he understood that being a part of a trade would help the future of the team. His departure has benefited the team as he had hoped it would, and he’s totally still a Canucks fan.
“This is a good group here in Vancouver. It’s guys that want to win and really care. I’ll miss these guys.” – Burr
— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) February 28, 2017
The only thing that would have made Alex Burrows’ back-to-back hat tricks in January of 2010 more perfect is if the Sedins had notched all twelve assists. Sami Salo, Ryan Kesler, and Shane O’Brien (!) each got one to ruin the symmetry, but this was still a pretty cool stretch for Burrows.
8. The move:
This video is just four minutes of Alex Burrows scoring with his favourite breakaway move. Goalies may have come to expect it, but that didn’t necessarily matter.
Asked Burrows if he thought goalies were wise to that shootout move 2 wks ago. He told me, “If I do it right, it doesn’t matter.” #Canucks
— Pass it to Bulis (@passittobulis) February 8, 2012
7. Streak breaker:
It was just a shorthanded goal against the Carolina Hurricanes, but it felt like a whole lot more. This goal gave a spiralling Canucks team on the verge of their ninth straight loss a victory that would turn into ten straight home wins. After this goal, the Canucks were a very good hockey team for the better part of four years.
6. Burrows in the community:
This isn’t exactly one particular moment, but Burrows was a fast favourite in Vancouver. He always had time for fans, never letting his spot in the NHL go to his head. He took over from Kevin Bieksa as the spokesperson for mindcheck.ca, a website set up in honour of the late Rick Rypien to offer resources to improve mental health and how mental illness is perceived. Burrows genuinely loved his fans. Here he is meeting some of his biggest ones in a bakery.
5. Eleven seconds:
It’s wild that a Stanley Cup Final OT gamewinner is so far from #1 on this list, but you can take that up with Burrows. This goal was perfect because it made Tim Thomas look like a fool just eleven seconds into overtime. Tim Thomas would go on to make himself look like a fool, but not before winning the Stanley Cup. Ugh. At least we have this goal.
4. Burrows and the Sedins:
This, too, is not about one moment, but Burrows will almost definitely go down as the most successful third Sedin. There are so many highlight reel set-ups that Burrows finished during his time on the top line, but my favourite might be the goal that saw Henrik become the franchise’s leading scorer. Also, Burrows once said that the twins communicate like dolphins, which was weird and funny.
3. The bow and arrow celebration:
On the night the Canucks paid tribute to the late Luc Bourdon, his best friend on the team hugged Luc’s mother and fiancée, presented the family with Luc’s last game worn jersey, and scored two goals. After both goals, Burrows celebrated by pretending to shoot an arrow into the rafters. This was Bourdon’s go-to celebration and Burrows adopted it to pay tribute to his friend after he scored meaningful goals. Here’s his final one as a Canuck, from last April.
2. The story:
My favourite fact about Alex Burrows is that he was once named the International Ball Hockey Player of the year by the International Street and Ball Hockey Federation. Burrows was never supposed to make it in the NHL. He played for three teams in the ECHL, one of which was named the Greenville Grrrowl – that’s three “R”s, yes. When he joined the Manitoba Moose, he was supposed to stay there. Instead, he went on to play twelve seasons as a Canuck. There are a lot of fun Cinderella stories in sports, and Burrows’ is one of the best.
1. He slayed the dragon:
It was indeed a wonderful day for an exorcism. When Alex Burrows knocked down Chris Campoli’s clearing attempt and shot that rolling puck past Corey Crawford, he cemented his place in Canucks history. He was never the most skilled guy on the roster, but he always had a knack for scoring the big goals. None were bigger than this one, a goal that may have prevented the complete teardown of a team that would come oh so close to winning it all. John Shorthouse’s call of the goal is perfect, alluding to the Blackhawks’ ousting of the Canucks in the previous two postseasons. This was one of the best goals and best moments in franchise history.