Alexandre Burrows
Alex Burrows 03-2010.JPG
Burrows in 2010
Position Winger
Shoots Left
6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
188 lb (85 kg)
NHL Team Vancouver Canucks
Born (1981-04-11)April 11, 1981,
Pincourt, Québec, CAN
NHL Draft Undrafted
Pro Career 2002 – present

Alexandre Ménard-Burrows (born April 11, 1981) is a Canadian professional ice hockey winger with the Vancouver Canucks of the National Hockey League (NHL). He is known for playing in the style of an agitator[1][2] and for his ascension to the NHL from being an undrafted player in the ECHL.[2][3] After a two-year career in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), he played in the minor leagues for three seasons. He was signed by the Canucks in 2005 from their American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Manitoba Moose. Burrows established himself as a checking forward with the Canucks in his first three NHL seasons before emerging as a scorer with two consecutive seasons of at least 20 goals and 50 points, beginning in 2008–09.

Before making it to the NHL, Burrows also enjoyed a prolific ball hockey career, competing in national and international tournaments in the summers.[4] In 2005, he was named the International Ball Hockey Player of the Year. He has also been inducted into the Canadian and International Ball Hockey Halls of Fame.

Playing career[edit | edit source]

Junior and minor leagues[edit | edit source]

Burrows played two seasons in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) with the Shawinigan Cataractes, beginning in 2000–01. He recorded 16 goals and 30 points over 63 regular season games, then added three points over 10 post-season games. The following season, he improved to 35 goals and 70 points over 64 games, third in team-scoring, behind Jonathan Bellemare and Jason Pominville.[5] He went on to lead his team in post-season scoring with nine goals and 20 points in 12 games[5] as the Cataractes advanced to the Conference Finals, where they were eliminated in seven games by the Victoriaville Tigres.

Undrafted by a National Hockey League (NHL) club, Burrows went professional in 2002–03 with the Greenville Grrrowl of the ECHL, a third-tier minor league. Late in his professional rookie season, he transferred to the Baton Rouge Kingfish and finished with a combined 32 points in 66 games between the two teams. The following season, in 2003–04, he returned to the South Division, as he was signed by the Columbia Inferno. Early in the season, he was signed by Columbia's American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Manitoba Moose, on October 21, 2003,[6] having been scouted by Moose general manager Craig Heisinger.[7] He appeared in two AHL games for Manitoba before being sent back down to the ECHL. Shortly after his return, he was suspended for three games and fined an undisclosed amount by the league for abusing officials during a game on October 24 against the Greensboro Generals.[8] Later on in the season, he was named to the 2004 ECHL All-Star Game for the Eastern Conference and recorded one assist.[6][9] He went on to finish the season with 29 goals and 73 points, second in points among Columbia players to league-scoring champion Tim Smith.[10]

In the subsequent off-season, Burrows was re-signed by the Moose on August 3, 2004.[6] He was initially sent back down to the ECHL after a training camp both he and head coach Randy Carlyle both described as disappointing.[11] Following an injury to Wade Brookbank, he was recalled on October 29, 2004.[11][12] He scored his first AHL goal with the Moose five days later, a game winning goal against goaltender David LeNeveu of the Utah Grizzlies in a 2–1 win.[13] He finished the 2004–05 season with Manitoba and posted 26 points over 72 games in a fourth-line role.[14]

Vancouver Canucks[edit | edit source]

Having worked his way up from the ECHL, Burrows' energetic play in the minors earned him a two-way contract[notes 1] with the Moose's NHL affiliate, the Vancouver Canucks, on November 8, 2005.[16] He had appeared earlier in the Canucks' training camp for the 2005–06 season, but was sent back to the Moose. After recording 30 points in 33 games with the Moose, he was recalled by the Canucks on January 2, 2006.[17] Eight days later, Burrows scored his first career NHL goal against Ed Belfour of the Toronto Maple Leafs.[18] He also added an assist as the Canucks won the game 4–3.[18] Establishing himself on the Canucks roster, he added his first NHL career hat trick on March 27, 2006, in a 7–4 win against the Los Angeles Kings.[19] He finished with seven goals and 12 points over 43 games in his NHL rookie campaign. Burrows' ascension to the NHL has been attributed to his hard-working and abrasive style of play, generating momentum for his team and aggravating opposing players.[20]

An ice hockey player dressed in a blue jersey with blue and green trim. He is stretching with one knee on the ice and the other lunged forward. He rests his stick on one leg while looking forward.

Burrows in 2009

Burrows completed his first full campaign with the Canucks the following season in 2006–07. He contributed primarily on the team's penalty kill,[21] which ranked first in the league.[22] Burrows' average shorthanded ice time per game was second among team forwards, behind Ryan Kesler.[23] He struggled to produce offensively, however, and recorded a career-low three goals and nine points in 81 games.

In 2007–08, Burrows formed an effective duo with center Ryan Kesler on the third line as defensive forwards, countering opposing teams' top players while contributing offensively, as well.[24][25] During the season, he was fined an undisclosed amount by the league after spearing Detroit Red Wings forward Aaron Downey at centre ice during the two teams' pre-game skate on February 23, 2008.[26] He finished the campaign with 12 goals, 31 points and a team-high plus-minus of +11.[27] He was voted by Canucks' fans to receive the team's Most Exciting Player Award and the Fred J. Hume Award, given to the team's "unsung hero" as voted by the Canucks Booster Club.[28]

After remaining on the third line with Kesler at the start of the following season, head coach Alain Vigneault separated the two after the All-Star break, placing Burrows on the first line with Daniel and Henrik Sedin, beginning on February 12, 2009, during a game against the Phoenix Coyotes.[29] Burrows' crash-the-net style – skating hard to the opposing team's goalmouth for rebounds or tip-ins – combined well with the Sedins' cycling plays.[30] Vigneault's line adjustments were precipitated by a losing streak in January, which Burrows was instrumental in breaking. The Canucks' winless streak had extended to eight games when Burrows broke a 3–3 tie with a shorthanded breakaway goal with 82 seconds remaining in a game against the Carolina Hurricanes.[31] Shortly thereafter, the Canucks extended his contract with a four-year, $8 million deal on February 4, 2009,[32] quadrupling his $525,000 salary.[33] Following a game against the Edmonton Oilers on April 4, Burrows received a $2,500 fine from the league for punching Oilers enforcer Zach Stortini from the bench.[34]

Late in the campaign, he was selected by the Professional Hockey Writers' Association as the Canucks' nominee for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, awarded for perseverance, dedication and sportsmanship.[35] Burrows was not shortlisted for the award, however.[36] Prior to the last game of the season, he received his second consecutive Most Exciting Player Award.[37]

Playing in a more offensive role on the first line for the latter part of the season, Burrows finished the 2008–09 campaign with 51 points. His 28 goals broke Andrew Brunette's mark for the most in a single season by an ECHL alumnus (27 in 2006–07).[38] In the subsequent first round of the 2009 playoffs, Burrows scored the series-winning goal in overtime to sweep the St. Louis Blues. It was his second goal of the game.[39] The Canucks advanced to meet the Chicago Blackhawks in the second round, who defeated them in six games. Burrows' level of play was noticeably diminished in the Chicago series and it was revealed afterwards that he required surgery to remove bone chips in his left wrist.[40][41] He finished the playoffs with three goals and an assist over 10 games.

An ice hockey player dressed in a blue jersey and a white baseball cap. He is relaxed on the ice with both hands on opposite ends of his stick across his torso.

Burrows at the Canucks 2009 SkillsCompetition

The following season, Burrows recorded back-to-back hat tricks against the Columbus Blue Jackets and Phoenix Coyotes on January 5 and 7, 2010, respectively.[42] It marked the first time an NHL player notched consecutive three-goal games since Ilya Kovalchuk in November 2007 and the first time a Canucks player did so since Petri Skriko in 1986.[42] With six goals and an assist over two games, Burrows was named the NHL First Star of the Week on January 11, 2010.[43]

NHL officials controversy[edit | edit source]

The night of his first star of the week selection, Burrows and the Canucks played a controversial game against the Nashville Predators. With the game tied 2–2 in the third period, Burrows was penalized twice by referee Stéphane Auger – once for diving and the other for interference.[44] The latter call was deemed questionable by media sources, including The Sports Network (TSN) and the National Post.[45] The interference penalty along with an additional penalty committed by Henrik Sedin resulted in Nashville's game-winning, 5-on-3 powerplay goal late in the game.[44] With three seconds to go in regulation, Burrows skated by Auger and protested the interference penalty, resulting in an unsportsmanlike minor and a ten-minute misconduct.[44]

Following the game, Burrows accused Auger of having a personal vendetta against him for a play against the Predators the previous month that had made him look bad. After Burrows had been hit into the boards by Nashville forward Jerred Smithson during a game on December 8, 2009, Auger assessed Smithson with a five-minute major and a game misconduct. However, the league later rescinded because it was believed Burrows had embellished injury.[46] Burrows claimed that Auger told him before the January 11 game: "you made me look bad [for calling the Smithson penalty] so I'm going to get you back tonight." He went on to tell reporters that Auger "should stay out for the rest of the year making calls like that ... We just blew two points because of his officiating tonight."[44]

The following day, the NHL fined Burrows US$2,500 for publicly criticizing Auger and deemed that his claims "cannot be substantiated."[47] Later that week, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC)'s Hockey Night in Canada telecast aired an 11-minute segment hosted by Ron MacLean and NHL vice-president Colin Campbell reviewing Burrows' past transgressions, spanning two years. The segment was widely criticized for being biased against Burrows and failing to illustrate both sides of the argument.[48][49] Burrows' parents subsequently issued a formal letter of complaint to the CBC, accusing MacLean of "verbal assassination" and for displaying "no journalistic balance."[50]

The following Saturday after the segment aired, the Canucks refused any interviews with the CBC before, during or after their game against the Chicago Blackhawks, which was broadcast on Hockey Night in Canada.[51] The boycott was ordered by Canucks general manager Mike Gillis after MacLean refused to apologize.[51] CBC and Canucks representatives later agreed in a conference call to "move on" and team players were allowed to resume interviews.[51]

Vancouver Canucks (cont'd)[edit | edit source]

Later in the 2009–10 season, Burrows left during a game against the Los Angeles Kings after being hit in the throat by a Jarret Stoll slapshot.[52] He was not injured, however, and did not miss any games thereafter. He finished the season with a career-high 35 goals, 32 assists, 67 points and a +34 rating. His goals total ranked first on the Canucks.[53] Fans voted him as recipient of the team's Most Exciting Player Award for the third consecutive season.[54]

Burrows struggled to score in the playoffs, however. In 12 games, he scored three goals, two of which were into empty nets,[55] and notched three assists. The Canucks advanced to the second round past the Los Angeles Kings, where they were eliminated by the Chicago Blackhawks for the second consecutive year. It was revealed in the off-season that Burrows was suffering from a shoulder injury, which he later received surgery for.[55]

Due to rehabilitation from the shoulder surgery, Burrows missed the first 10 games of the 2010–11 season. Continuing to play with the Sedins upon his return, he recorded 48 points (26 goals and 22 assists) in 72 games, sixth in team-scoring. Winning the Presidents' Trophy, the Canucks entered the 2011 playoffs as the first seed in the West and matched up against the Blackhawks for the third consecutive year. With a 3–0 lead in the series, the Canucks lost their next three games, resulting in a game seven. In the deciding game, Burrows scored two goals in a 2–1 overtime win, helping Vancouver eliminate Chicago. After defeating the Nasvhille Predators and San Jose Sharks in rounds two and three, the Canucks reached the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in 17 years. Playing the Boston Bruins, Burrows received much attention for allegedly biting opposing forward Patrice Bergeron during a scrum at the end of the first period. While the two players were being held apart by a linesman, Bergeron put his finger in Burrows' mouth. The incident was reviewed by the league, but was ruled unsuspendable with "no conclusive evidence that [he] intentionally bit [Bergeron's] finger."[56] The following game, Burrows scored his second overtime-winner of the playoffs, part of a three-point effort (two goals and an assist). Occurring 11 seconds into the extra period, it was the second-fastest goal scored from the start of an overtime game in Stanley Cup Finals history (Montreal Canadiens forward Brian Skrudland scored nine seconds into overtime in Game 2 of the 1986 Stanley Cup Finals against the Calgary Flames).[57]

Personal life[edit | edit source]

Burrows was born in Pincourt, Québec, to parents Rodney and Carole.[58] His father emigrated from London, England, at 23, while his mother, a Québec native, is an elementary school principal. Burrows has two sisters, as well – one older and one younger.[58][59] He grew up speaking mostly French and attended French schools.[58] He returns in the off-season to Montreal.[33]

In July 2010, Burrows married his longtime girlfriend, Nancy Roy.[60] On April 27, 2011, Nancy gave birth to the couple's first child, a girl named Victoria.[61]

Burrows was the closest friend on the Canucks to former teammate Luc Bourdon, who died in a motorcycle accident in May 2008.[62] In the hockey season following his death, Burrows occasionally celebrated goals with a bow-and-arrow mime, a gesture that Bourdon himself did after scoring during his junior career.[62] He and his wife (girlfriend at the time) remained close to Bourdon's girlfriend, Charlene Ward.[34]

In the 2009 off-season, Burrows was involved in an assault incident while playing in a summer ice hockey league. Police were called to an arena in Kirkland, Québec, on July 21 after Burrows allegedly struck a goaltender, 19-year-old Koray Celik, in the face. No arrests, however, were made at the scene.[63]

Career statistics[edit | edit source]

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2000–01 Shawinigan Cataractes QMJHL 63 16 14 30 105 10 2 1 3 8
2001–02 Shawinigan Cataractes QMJHL 64 35 35 70 184 10 9 10 19 20
2002–03 Greenville Grrrowl ECHL 53 9 17 26 201
2002–03 Baton Rouge Kingfish ECHL 13 4 2 6 64
2003–04 Columbia Inferno ECHL 64 29 44 73 194 4 2 0 2 28
2003–04 Manitoba Moose AHL 2 0 0 0 0
2004–05 Columbia Inferno ECHL 4 5 1 6 4
2004–05 Manitoba Moose AHL 72 9 17 26 107 14 0 3 3 37
2005–06 Manitoba Moose AHL 33 12 18 30 57 13 6 7 13 27
2005–06 Vancouver Canucks NHL 43 7 5 12 61
2006–07 Vancouver Canucks NHL 81 3 6 9 93 11 1 0 1 14
2007–08 Vancouver Canucks NHL 82 12 19 31 179
2008–09 Vancouver Canucks NHL 82 28 23 51 150 10 3 1 4 20
2009–10 Vancouver Canucks NHL 82 35 32 67 121 12 3 3 6 22
2010–11 Vancouver Canucks NHL 72 26 22 48 77 25 9 8 17 34
NHL totals 526 139 132 271 775 63 17 12 29 97

Awards[edit | edit source]

ECHL[edit | edit source]

Award Year
All-Star Game 2004

Vancouver Canucks[edit | edit source]

Award Year
Most Exciting Player Award 2008, 2009 and 2010
Fred J. Hume Award (unsung hero) 2008

NHL[edit | edit source]

Award Year
First Star of the Week January 11, 2010

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. A player's salary on a two-way contract is dependent on whether he plays in the minor leagues or the NHL.[15]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Canucks winger excels at ruffling feathers. Ottawa Citizen (2007-04-27). Retrieved on 2009-03-31.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Feisty Alex Burrows not worried about losing friends around the NHL. The Hockey News. Retrieved on 2009-03-31.
  3. Burrows took long road to show. Victoria Times Colonist. Retrieved on 2009-03-31.
  4. Wiebe, Ken. Forward has a ball playing in the off-season. Winnipeg Sun. Retrieved on 2008-03-17.
  5. 5.0 5.1 2001–02 Shawinigan Cataractes (QMJHL). Retrieved on 2010-08-28.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Moose Sign Eastman and Burrows. OurSports Central (2003-10-21). Retrieved on 2009-03-31.
  7. Adam Wazny. "Bird dog bolsters Canucks", Canadian Online Explorer, 2005-11-11. Retrieved on 2010-04-02. 
  8. "Transactions", Observer-Reporter, 2003-11-04. Retrieved on 2010-04-02. 
  9. Walby Shows Skills Among ECHL All-Stars. OurSports Central (2004-01-20). Retrieved on 2009-03-31.
  10. 2003-04 Columbia Inferno [ECHL]. Retrieved on 2009-03-31.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Adam Wanzy. "Wintering in Winnipeg", Canadian Online Explorer, 2004-11-16. Retrieved on 2010-04-02. 
  12. Adam Wanzy. "Big line getting attention", Canadian Online Explorer, 2004-11-22. Retrieved on 2010-04-02. 
  13. Moose put one in win column. OurSports Central (2004-11-05). Retrieved on 2009-03-31.
  14. Adam Wanzy. "Fourth-liners make life miserable", Canadian Online Explorer, 2005-01-10. Retrieved on 2010-04-02. 
  15. "Major league dreams are anything but cheap", The Augusta Chronicle, 2006-12-03. Retrieved on 2010-12-01. 
  16. Canucks Sign Burrows, Rypien. OurSports Central (2005-11-09). Retrieved on 2009-03-31.
  17. Alexandre Burrows. The Sports Network. Retrieved on 2010-08-29.
  18. 18.0 18.1 Canucks fend off Maple Leafs. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (2006-01-10). Retrieved on 2009-03-31.
  19. Tricky rookie gets a hat trick. The Province (2006-03-28). Retrieved on 2009-03-31.
  20. Macinnis, Matt. Canucks 2005-06 rookie review. Hockey's Future. Retrieved on 2008-03-17.
  21. Canucks' P.K. more than okay. Vancouver Sun (2007-01-10). Retrieved on 2009-03-31.
  22. Penalty Kill %. National Hockey League. Retrieved on 2010-08-28.
  23. Shorthanded Time On Ice. National Hockey League. Retrieved on 2010-08-28.
  24. It takes two. Vancouver Canucks (2008-03-01). Retrieved on 2009-02-05.
  25. Kesler, Burrows score A in chemistry. The Province (2008-03-12). Retrieved on 2009-03-31.
  26. "Potato quip, spear costly for Burrows", The Province, 2008-02-29. Retrieved on 2010-08-28. 
  27. Plus/Minus. National Hockey League. Retrieved on 2010-08-28.
  28. "Canucks' Luongo named team MVP, but Burrows most exciting player", National Hockey League, 2008-04-06. Retrieved on 2010-08-28. 
  29. Brad Ziemer. "Burrows earns promotion", Vancouver Sun, 2009-02-13. Retrieved on 2010-03-15. 
  30. Canadian Press. "Canucks' Alex Burrows is modest about his legend label", Sporting News, 2009-04-22. Retrieved on 2010-04-02. 
  31. Canucks ink Canes to halt losing streak. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (2009-02-03). Retrieved on 2009-06-02.
  32. Canucks lock up Burrows ahead of deadline. CBC (2009-02-04). Retrieved on 2009-02-04.
  33. 33.0 33.1 Burrows looking for a new deal. Vancouver Sun (2008-10-10). Retrieved on 2009-03-31.
  34. 34.0 34.1 "'I think of Luc before every game'", The Province, 2009-04-15. Retrieved on 2010-10-12. 
  35. Brad Zeimer. "Burrows a top contender for Masterton trophy", Nanaimo Daily News, 2009-04-03. Retrieved on 2010-08-29. 
  36. John McGourty. "Masterton finalists meet the criteria", National Hockey League, 2009-04-30. Retrieved on 2010-08-29. 
  37. Elliott Pap. "Kesler proves MVP no fluke with game-winner over Kings", Vancouver Sun, 2009-04-10. Retrieved on 2010-08-29. 
  38. "Red-hot Alex Burrows records back-to-back hat tricks for Vancouver Canucks", Georgia Straight, 2010-01-08. Retrieved on 2010-10-07. 
  39. Canucks defeat Blues in OT, advance to second round. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (2009-04-21). Retrieved on 2009-04-21.
  40. Elliott Pap. "Series a long way from being over, insist Canuck Willie Mitchell", Vancouver Sun, 2009-05-10. Retrieved on 2010-08-29. 
  41. "Canucks re-sign Bernier to 2-year contract", The Sports Network, 2009-05-14. Retrieved on 2010-08-29. 
  42. 42.0 42.1 Burrows trying to keep hat tricks in perspective. Vancouver Canucks (2010-01-08). Retrieved on 2010-01-08.
  43. Six-goal week earns Canucks' Burrows first star honours. The Sports Network (2010-01-11). Retrieved on 2010-01-13.
  44. 44.0 44.1 44.2 44.3 Burrows slams referee after loss to Predators. The Sports Network (2010-01-11). Retrieved on 2010-01-14.
  45. Arthur, Bruce (14 January 2010), "Whither The Truth?", National Post, <>. Retrieved on 14 January 2010
  46. NHL officially fines Canucks' Burrows for outburst. The Sports Network (2010-01-13). Retrieved on 2010-01-14.
  47. "NHL fines Burrows $2,500 for comments", National Hockey League, 2010-01-13. Retrieved on 2010-08-29. 
  48. "Biases and prejudices", Globe and Mail, 2010-01-19. Retrieved on 2010-10-12. 
  49. "Alex Burrows ignores character assassination, scores as Canucks thump Pens to end tough week", Vancouver Sun, 2010-01-18. Retrieved on 2010-10-12. 
  50. Burrows family files complaint over CBC segment. The Province (2010-01-18). Retrieved on 2010-01-25.
  51. 51.0 51.1 51.2 Ben Kuzma. "Canucks, CBC make peace in Burrows-MacLean affair after conference call", The Province, 2010-01-24. Retrieved on 2010-08-29. 
  52. Iain MacIntyre. "Canucks: Daniel Sedin and Alex Burrows to play tonight", Vancouver Sun, 2010-04-02. Retrieved on 2010-04-02. 
  53. Goals Total. National Hockey League. Retrieved on 2010-08-29.
  54. "Canucks announce team awards", Vancouver Canucks, 2010-04-10. Retrieved on 2010-04-11. 
  55. 55.0 55.1 "Canucks forward Burrows has shoulder surgery", USA Today, 2010-06-14. Retrieved on 2010-08-31. 
  56. "No suspension for Canucks' Burrows after alleged bite", The Toronto Star, 2011-06-02. Retrieved on 2011-06-09. 
  57. Ziemer, Brad. "Canucks' Alex Burrows overtime hero in 3-2 win over Bruins", The Vancouver Sun, Postmedia News, 2011-06-05. Retrieved on 2011-06-09. 
  58. 58.0 58.1 58.2 One-on-one with Alexandre Burrows. Vancouver Sun (2006-01-27). Retrieved on 2009-03-31.
  59. Just me and my hockey mom. The Province (2009-03-10). Retrieved on 2009-03 n.
  60. Elliott Papp. "Candid Canuck Shane O'Brien hopes for 'bit of security' in Vancouver", Vancouver Sun, 2010-05-13. Retrieved on 2010-10-13. 
  61. Burrows welcomes a daughter. The Province. Postmedia News (2011-04-28). Retrieved on 2011-04-28.
  62. 62.0 62.1 "Luongo stops 25 shots as Canucks douse Flames in opener", The Sports Network, 2008-10-10. Retrieved on 2010-08-29. 
  63. Canucks' Alex Burrows investigated for alleged summer hockey incident. Vancouver Sun (2009-08-03). Retrieved on 2009-09-04.

External links[edit | edit source]

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