His story is already well known: ball hockey star gets shot in AHL after slumming in the ECHL, turns heads and cracks NHL roster. This story gets better and better and almost had a fairytale cherry on top. But that was then and this is now. After a dismal season at best under John Tortorella, Alex Burrows is looking to be reborn this season.
The life was good; top line winger with Henrik and Daniel Sedin potting 30+ goals and getting league wide recognition as a finisher. His past life as an agitator slowly fading away with his true talent shining through. But the foot injury that sidelined Burrows for the start of last season and then breaking his jaw as well as a fight with Phil Kessel that ended in yet another injury; forced Burr down the line to the point fans and media wondered if he would ever get his spark back.
Now, on a line with Nick Bonino and Chris Higgins, Burrows gets that chance to light up the spark. His never die attitude had to have gotten the attention of new coach Willie Desjardins as it warranted an offseason visit in his hometown from the new bench boss. Burrows has been part of a core that was 60 minutes away from winning the Stanley Cup; now he looks like a shell of his former self. The drive is still there and with a rejuvenated line that doesn’t include the name Ryan Kesler, he might just get his chance to step up.
Alex knows how to pot goals and he knows that the dirty spots are where they come for him. A healthy Burrows gives the Canucks another valuable scoring and playmaking winger that the players trust and that the coaches are willing to go to when the game is on the line. In 2011, it looked like Alex was that guy:
Trade rumours swirled this past year and with up and coming wingers Jensen and Shinkaruk, the writing is on the wall. It’s time to see the new Alex Burrows. He’s never backed down from a challenge. This is one he’ll want to take.
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Photo courtesy of zimbio.com