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On this day in 2017, the Canucks trade forward Alex Burrows to the Senators

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Photo credit:© Winslow Townson | 2016
Michael Mazzei
1 month ago
On this day in 2017, the Vancouver Canucks sent forward Alex Burrows to the Ottawa Senators in exchange for forward Jonathan Dahlen.
Going into the 2016-17 season, the talks surrounding Burrows were not about whether he would finish his career in Vancouver but when and where he would be traded. During the latter half of the prior season, speculation emerged that he could be bought out to make way for younger players whom management considered a top priority.
Instead, the Canucks opted to buy out teammate Chris Higgins, but that still left a cloud of uncertainty hanging over Burrows, whose future with the organization remained unclear in the wake of that decision. As the subsequent campaign commenced and it became clear the team would finish the year out of a playoff spot, it was soon apparent that it was time to move on from the long-time fan favourite.
Then-GM Jim Benning asked Burrows to waive his no-trade clause which the forward would only do if he liked the fit. As many as eight teams expressed interest in him, including the Montreal Canadiens, but the Senators emerged from the pack as they could offer him an extension which he signed almost immediately after the trade.
It was a bittersweet moment for the fanbase watching a player who ground his way up from being undrafted to sharing a line with the Sedin twins and contributing to their push to the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals. Burrows was a vital component of many big moments throughout his 12-year run with the Canucks, with his most notable being when he slayed the dragon. While the team was unable to reach the summit during his tenure, there was no denying that he gave it his all and it’s why the fanbase adored him so much.
“It’s been a hard day,” Benning said on the day the trade was completed. “Alex Burrows has been the heart and soul of our franchise for a long time. He’s given us everything that he’s had.”
Coming over to Vancouver was prospect Dahlen who was selected 42nd overall in the 2016 NHL draft. At the time the deal was made, scouts raved about his hockey sense, offensive abilities, speed, and work ethic. He may have been listed at 5’10” and 176 pounds which certainly put him at a disadvantage, but many felt back then this could work wonders for the team long-term. That was made more apparent when the Canucks selected his Timrå IK teammate Elias Pettersson fifth overall in the subsequent draft as the two had strong on-ice chemistry and had productive seasons sharing the same line in Sweden.
Although there were plenty of reasons for both teams to feel good about this trade at the time, it ultimately did not work out well for Vancouver and Ottawa.
Things never went Dahlen’s way due to suffering from mononucleosis before the start of the 2017-18 campaign and was unable to crack the NHL lineup. He would ultimately be traded to the San Jose Sharks less than two years after he was acquired in exchange for Linus Karlsson, who has appeared in four games with the Canucks so far this season.
As for Burrows, he was fairly productive down the stretch to end the 2017 regular season and chipped in five assists in 15 playoff games before ultimately bowing out to the eventual Cup winners, the Pittsburgh Penguins. The following season was disappointing, with only 14 points in 71 games played, resulting in the Senators buying out the final year of his contract in the offseason. That would prove to be his final NHL campaign as he announced his retirement a few weeks after the buyout.

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