The Canucks weren’t content with the draft standing on its own as a big event in Vancouver, adding a couple big announcements before the first round kicked off on Friday.
One was the month of the Sedins jersey retirement, revealing that particular ceremony won’t take place until February, but would be a weeklong celebration. The other was a little less expected. While reports indicated that the Canucks would be adding another name to their Ring of Honour, it wasn’t clear who it would be.
When John Shorthouse took the mic to crack a joke or two (“We have a trade to announce...just kidding”), it seemed like he was just there to break the ice and set the stage for what was to come. Instead, he had a big announcement: Alex Burrows is heading to the Ring of Honour.
It’s a fitting honour for the dragonslayer, who is a legend in Vancouver, but was certainly never going to be a candidate to have his number retired. That’s exactly what the Ring of Honour is for: an opportunity to recognize players that have made a major impact in Vancouver, but whose on-ice play falls short of number retirement.
Burrows has one of the greatest stories of any Canuck, working his way up from his days as an undrafted winger who didn’t even play Major Junior in his draft year, to two years toiling in the ECHL for the likes of the Greenville Grrrowl, Baton Rouge Kingfish, and Columbia Inferno, to earning a spot on the Manitoba Moose in the AHL, and eventually a call up to the NHL with the Canucks.
His offensive instincts, honed by years as a ball hockey legend, made him more talented than your typical agitator and, against all odds, made him the ideal winger for the two best players in Canucks’ history: Daniel and Henrik Sedin.
Now, Burrows will be alongside the Sedins forever.
Daniel and Henrik will be in the rafters, their numbers rightfully retired. Next to their names will be the number, name, and face of Alex Burrows in the Ring of Honour: he’s going to be on their wing, where he belongs.
Burrows delivered one of the most iconic moments in Canucks’ history, scoring the Game 7 overtime winner to send the Canucks past the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round of the 2011 playoffs.
The Blackhawks seemed like an insurmountable obstacle for the Canucks in the years prior, which is why John Shorthouse exclaimed, “They slayed the dragon!” immediately after the goal. It was iconic and Burrows was the dragonslayer from that day on.
That wasn’t the only clutch goal he scored in those playoffs, delivering another overtime game winner in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final. It was arguably the last purely positive moment in the 2011 playoffs.
Burrows was and still is beloved in Vancouver and he’s a fitting addition to the Ring of Honour, where he’ll join Orland Kurtenbach, Harold Snepsts, Mattias Ohlund, Thomas Gradin, Kirk McLean, and Pat Quinn.