Ex-Moose filling the net with Canucks

KEN WIEBE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:47 AM ET

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Despite posting career-highs in most offensive categories, Alexandre Burrows isn't about to forget his bread and butter.

"I'll always consider myself a checker, even though I'm scoring goals," Burrows, the Vancouver Canucks forward, said after a recent game against the Phoenix Coyotes.

Burrows' story is the stuff legends -- and dreams, for that matter -- are made of.

Languishing in the ECHL, Burrows considered retirement before Manitoba Moose general manager Craig Heisinger signed him to a pro tryout offer in 2003.

Flourishing

The feisty winger signed a two-way deal with the Canucks in November 2005 and began to make an impression in the NHL.

Now in his fourth NHL season, Burrows is fifth in team scoring with 25 goals and 44 points and is flourishing on a line with Daniel and Henrik Sedin.

"I got lucky getting bumped with the twins and that's going to help me. I've been saying it all along that those guys are going to make it happen for me," said Burrows. "It's been clicking. I've been trying to go to the net and simplify my game."

Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault said it was an easy decision putting Burrows with the Sedin twins.

"He's been not just consistent, but emotionally and physically ready to play every game and he competes -- he deserved this opportunity," said Vigneault.

"We were looking for some combinations that might have some chemistry and we came up with that.

"I'm a firm believer that where hard work and perseverance meet, there's no limits and Alex is a great example of that."

"I always knew that he had a knack for the net," added Canucks centre and fellow Moose graduate Ryan Kesler. "He's playing with good players and he's producing."

That ability to produce, along with the other strong traits, were factors in Burrows recently signing a four-year contract extension worth $8 million.

And while some believe Burrows could have extracted more money on the open market, the left-winger wanted to stay with the Canucks long-term.

"I'm really happy," said Burrows. "There were some talks about trades and stuff. I don't know if that's true or not. Staying in Vancouver was always my No. 1 choice. I like my teammates more than anything and I like the city and I know the coaching staff has faith in me and knows what I can do.

'RIGHT DIRECTION'

"Obviously, it's a good organization. We're moving in the right direction to win a championship. That's what you want as a player.

"Some people say I could have got more and blah, blah, blah but I got good money. Back in the ECHL, I think I was making $450 a week and it was a lot different."

Burrows will always look back fondly at his time with the Moose, where he managed 21 goals and 56 points in 107 games.

"I was thrilled to be in Manitoba," said Burrows. "The people were really nice and Zinger means the world to me for where I am now. Those times helped me become the player I am today."


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