No one will soon forget the legend of “the dragon slayer” in Vancouver.
Alex Burrows has firmly etched his name in Vancouver Canucks lore, and he’s being recognized for such by having his name added to the team’s Ring of Honour before tonight’s game against the Ottawa Senators. Burrows will be the seventh person inducted, alongside Orland Kurtenbach, Kirk McLean, Thomas Gradin, Harold Snepsts, Pat Quinn, and Mattias Ohlund.
- See also:
One of the most recognizable players in Canucks history, Burrows’ unique story and importance to this franchise is captured in these 10 moments.
10. Rise from ECHL checker to NHL goal-scorer
Burrows should never have made the NHL.
At least that’s what history would tell you. You just don’t see guys go from ball hockey star to first-line forward in the NHL, but Burrows is a special case.
It took him 130 ECHL games with three different teams, along with 107 games with the Manitoba Moose in the AHL before Burrows finally played for the Canucks.
Even after he earned a spot on the Canucks, it wasn’t until his fourth NHL season in 2008-09 where he really turned into a star.
9. His chemistry with the Sedin twins
On that fateful night in February 10, 2009, the Canucks history was altered forever.
It was that night when Alain Vigneault put the scrappy Burrows on a line with the Sedin twins. At the time, not even Vigneault could have predicted that he found the most successful winger for the twins throughout their illustrious careers.
8. His beef with referee Stephane Auger
After being called for three penalties during a 3-2 loss to the Nashville Predators on January 11, 2010, Burrows sounded off on referee Stephane Auger.
“I think he should sit out for the rest of the year, making calls like that that are making us look bad,” said an emotional Burrows post-game. “Every two points are so important in this league. We just blew two points because of his officiating tonight.”
Burrows claimed that Auger told him before the game that he was “going to get him back” for making the referee look bad in a previous game.
“[Auger said] ‘I saw the replay… you weren’t really hurt and you made me look bad, so I’m going to get you back tonight,’ and he did. And he cost us two points.”
7. Scoring the slump-buster
On February 3, 2009, the Canucks entered a game against the Carolina Hurricanes as losers of eight straight. Their playoff hopes were fading rapidly, until a Burrows goal changed the fortunes of their season.
With under two minutes to play, Burrows scored on a shorthanded breakaway to give the Canucks a 4-3 lead to bump the slump.
Those late-game heroics were the tonic the Canucks needs, as they went on to win 20 of their next 26 games en route to a division title.
6. Back-to-back hat tricks
Here’s something we might not see again for a while. Of course, it was Burrows who pulled off this incredible feat.
Burrows scored hat tricks in back-to-back games, beginning with three against the Columbus Blue Jackets…
Then, he added three more the next game against Phoenix Coyotes…
5. His signature move
Burrows’ shootout and breakaway move became the stuff of legend.
His prototypical fake forehand shot, backhand deke led to countless goals for the Canucks, although this brave soul did try to make a compilation of all those markers.
4. Bow and arrow tributes for Luc Bourdon
There were heavy hearts across Canucks nation after Luc Bourdon diedt ragically in a motorcycle accident in 2008. That was especially true for Burrows, who was good friends with Bourdon.
During the Canucks’ season opener following Bourdon’s passing, Burrows scored twice and left us with a celebration that returned many times throughout his career.
Here’s a clip from the first time Burrows pulled off the “bow and arrow” tribute:
3. Stanley Cup Final heroics
Burrows is no stranger to scoring big goals, and this list is evidence of that. One of the most memorable goals he scored for the Canucks had this city in absolute pandemonium over the fact that they were two games away from winning the Stanley Cup.
His overtime goal against the Bruins gave the Canucks a 2-0 series lead.
2. His love for Vancouver
One thing that will never be forgotten by Canucks fans was Burrows’ absolute passion for playing in this market. He’s been on the record on many different occasions talking about how much he loved playing in Vancouver. He penned his love for the city as well in an article with The Players’ Tribune following his trade.
Some of the closing words should have Canucks fans pulling out the tissues.
“I will still, in my own way, always have my heart in Vancouver. I’m leaving with too many memories to count, and an endless debt of gratitude, and the knowledge that I’ve found a city I can consider a hometown for life.”
1. The biggest goal in Canucks history
Maybe I’m disrespecting Pavel Bure with this statement, but there’s no doubt in my mind that this is the most important goal in club history.
Not only were the Canucks the Presidents’ Trophy winners and Stanley Cup favourites, but a third straight series loss to the Chicago Blackhawks would have completely altered the franchise.
Instead, Burrows’ magical goal catapulted a run that was cut one game short of hockey’s greatest prize. Still, to this day, Canucks fans everywhere can watch that goal and get goosebumps. All of that, thanks to a guy who was had some of the longest odds of ever making the NHL.
So thank you, Alex Burrows.