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Alex Burrows - Where does he fit in 2016/17?


Jamie Huscroft

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Burr, Grandlund and Dors make up the ideal 4th line, a combo of grit, heart and ability to make something happen. If we only play this line 10 to 12 min, I think we can get the most out of Burr. You can have faith if this line gets stuck on the ice, 2 vets plus a smart young player, grandlund just needs to work on his faceoffs. I am expecting a 15 goal season out of Burr, if Willie uses him right on the 4th and PK, we can have success. Injuries of course will affect this lineup, but to me a 4th line that has veteran presence is a great thing to have. 

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Anywhere he's needed. He can play anywhere from the 1st line with the sedins to the 4th line and be happy doing it. He'll move up and down the lineup due to injuries. I also expect him to get lots of time on the pk, and even occasional pp time. That's why we kept him. He's extremely versatile and happy in any role we put him in. 

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Would be happy if he scores 10 goals, 20ish points and kills penalties decently as a role model on our 4th line. Yes he's expensive because that contract was always going to bite us in the butt, but if we can get some good leadership out of him we should be happy.

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On 2016-07-19 at 3:19 PM, Tom Sestito said:

he doesnt have the legs, hes clearly been a step below his old form since the 12/13 season. the chances of him randomly going back to that form that he had before are slim to none

"Clearly"?  A word added purely for emphasis. 

 

Has he lost a step?  Yes, he has.  But part of what made him effective in those races for the puck was being dialed in and also positioning himself to do so.  It wasn't ever flat out speed...it was determination.  I don't know that we can decide he's lost that (will), only he can.

 

"That form" was the result of the love of the game and wanting to win...I don't think he's lost that.  In the recent past, he was carted off by ambulance for a broken rib...those tend to take awhile to get back to form from because even breathing becomes difficult.  So injury does factor in but doesn't determine "can't ever" (get back to form).  Hard work is a big part of that.

 

Post 2011, EVERYONE lost their form for awhile but I feel it was the mental edge that they lost more than anything.  The will to get back there again..it's tough.  You grind out a season and come out on top, then it resets for playoffs in an all or nothing.  When you get to the end of that, it's physically and mentally exhausting.  Especially when it comes in the form of a devastating turn of events.  To get back there again?  Not as easy as one may think. 

 

Burr is like Hansen, in that his love of the game gives him his jump...his fire.  Guys like that determine from within when they lose that.  If they get tired of playing, it'll show.  But it isn't like they can't be effective players....you make it sound like something concrete and an impossible obstacle.  I don't buy that.

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4 minutes ago, debluvscanucks said:

"Clearly"?  A word added purely for emphasis.

 

Has he lost a step?  Yes, he has.  But part of what made him effective in those races for the puck was being dialed in and also positioning himself to do so.  It wasn't ever flat out speed...it was determination.  I don't know that we can decide he's lost that (will), only he can.

 

"That form" was the result of the love of the game and wanting to win...I don't think he's lost that.  In the recent past, he was carted off by ambulance for a broken rib...those tend to take awhile to get back to form from because even breathing becomes difficult.  So injury does factor in but doesn't determine "can't ever" (get back to form).  Hard work is a big part of that.

 

Post 2011, EVERYONE lost their form for awhile but I feel it was the mental edge that they lost more than anything.  The will to get back there again..it's tough.  You grind out a season and come out on top, then it resets for playoffs in an all or nothing.  When you get to the end of that, it's physically and mentally exhausting. 

 

Burr is like Hansen, in that, it is his love of the game that gives him his jump...his fire.  Guys like that determine from within when they lose that.  If they get tired of playing, it'll show.  But it isn't like they can't be effective players....you make it sound like something concrete and an impossible obstacle.  I don't buy that.

Good assessment Deb. You are right in that his "speed" was never a part of his game anyway, the same as the Sedin's. He has the "heart" and "desire" to win which is much needed on a team. His salary is payment for when he played great for us and was paid very little. I am good with that. He gave us some great years as a Canuck. His offence may have dwindled but his experience to the younger players is invaluable as well as his PK and defensive skills. I would still be comfortable with him on the ice with a 1 goal lead and less than 1 minute left to play. Actually, the same would hold if we were down by a goal as well. 

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And, in thinking this through some more, I want to add something.

 

Age DOES factor in, especially in professional sports...but it isn't a "when you get past _______ age you have expired".  You may decline...but there are things to help offset that to some degree.

 

SO many things factor in.  Health, injury recovery and the dedication put into that. 

 

Some guys will use their off time as that....down time.  Some will party and enjoy life.

 

Some play ball hockey and keep the whole hockey theme going.  Run and compete and stay at it.  Burr is that guy...that plays into his favour.  As a matter of fact, he's in a tournament that starts today. 

 

It all matters in the end.  It isn't just pull the plug when players hit a certain age.  It isn't predetermined.

 

I am actually living that in my own life...after being fit my entire life, I hit a rough spot and a lot of devastation in life.   It took a toll.  At my age, I could just pack it in now and say I had my day.  But I have a trainer now and, after two months of devoting myself to things, am now quickly getting back to form and am amped up to not go down without a fight.  It ain't over till it's over.  So I take this sort of talk of being washed up as hogwash.  It's very limiting and short sighted.  Thinking you can do it can play a big part of getting you there.  Again, not that a 35 year old can jump back to 20...but you also can take charge and stay fit and perform well.

 

We are learning that what you put in is what you get out.  I feel like Burr, the guy at the end of the game high fiving everyone and not skating off with his head down, is one of those guys who will fight it as long as he can.  He's seemingly programmed that way.  Passionate about this hockey deal and that can really propel things.

 

 

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19 minutes ago, debluvscanucks said:

And, in thinking this through some more, I want to add something.

 

Age DOES factor in, especially in professional sports...but it isn't a "when you get past _______ age you have expired".  You may decline...but there are things to help offset that to some degree.

 

SO many things factor in.  Health, injury recovery and the dedication put into that. 

 

Some guys will use their off time as that....down time.  Some will party and enjoy life.

 

Some play ball hockey and keep the whole hockey theme going.  Run and compete and stay at it.  Burr is that guy...that plays into his favour.  As a matter of fact, he's in a tournament that starts today. 

 

It all matters in the end.  It isn't just pull the plug when players hit a certain age.  It isn't predetermined.

 

I am actually living that in my own life...after being fit my entire life, I hit a rough spot and a lot of devastation in life.   It took a toll.  At my age, I could just pack it in now and say I had my day.  But I have a trainer now and, after two months of devoting myself to things, am now quickly getting back to form and am amped up to not go down without a fight.  It ain't over till it's over.  So I take this sort of talk of being washed up as hogwash.  It's very limiting and short sighted.  Thinking you can do it can play a big part of getting you there.  Again, not that a 35 year old can jump back to 20...but you also can take charge and stay fit and perform well.

 

We are learning that what you put in is what you get out.  I feel like Burr, the guy at the end of the game high fiving everyone and not skating off with his head down, is one of those guys who will fight it as long as he can.  He's seemingly programmed that way.  Passionate about this hockey deal and that can really propel things.

 

 

well said, big casino.

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On July 19, 2016 at 2:27 PM, swizzey said:

He fits in as player coach. 

 

Next year he will relieve Willie from head coaching duties and be head coach. Willie will be freed up to pursue other passions.

 

Burrows will win the cup as head coach with the Sedin's as the top line.

He would be a good skills coach.  Imagine him in the ahl teaching lol 

 

epic

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In a perfect world Canucks make the playoffs and Burr slays another dragon.

 

Another possibilty is we are out of playoff contention at tdl and he agrees to go to a contender for a shot at da Cup (Pittsburgh?).

 

He could also just playout the year as the pro he always is and hope we crack the top 16. No matter what scenario plays out I wish him good health and good luck.

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yes, lets bring up his passion as if i doubt that to make your point seem more valid.

 

hes clearly passionate about the game, his will and his energy made him who he was.

 

i question passion for the game in a guy like vrbata, who clearly didn't even give any effort. on the flip side, there's no question that burrows played his ass off and is a great leader within the locker room. but he's physically lost a step. it's incredibly rare to just gain that back. don't ramble about something I'm not saying. it doesn't justify anything against me if I'm not saying it.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Tom Sestito said:

yes, lets bring up his passion as if i doubt that to make your point seem more valid.

 

hes clearly passionate about the game, his will and his energy made him who he was.

 

i question passion for the game in a guy like vrbata, who clearly didn't even give any effort. on the flip side, there's no question that burrows played his ass off and is a great leader within the locker room. but he's physically lost a step. it's incredibly rare to just gain that back. don't ramble about something I'm not saying. it doesn't justify anything against me if I'm not saying it.

 

 

Physically losing a step can be offset by positioning and playing a smart game.  Doesn't make him a washout.  If, at 30 years old his will and energy made him who he was there's no reason why, at 35, that can't also happen.   Not a far stretch, even if you're convinced of something different.  Time will tell.

 

And don't patronize me with this rambling stuff.  It's not only a place for one or two liners in a hit and run fashion. 

 

It's not incredibly rare to "gain back" form or a game that, in your words, was what it was due to will and energy.  Even us old folks can get it done if we need to.  He's 35, not 85.  So let's address that part....in that some have an off season routine that sets them up better than others.  Playing at a fairly high level in ball hockey would be part of that.  So there are so many things that factor in and it's not just a given, as you suggest. 

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13 hours ago, SaintPatrick33 said:

Burr, Grandlund and Dors make up the ideal 4th line, a combo of grit, heart and ability to make something happen. If we only play this line 10 to 12 min, I think we can get the most out of Burr. You can have faith if this line gets stuck on the ice, 2 vets plus a smart young player, grandlund just needs to work on his faceoffs.

This looks perfect to me?

 

Mix in Jake and Etem when they are not up, or out, of the line up. When guys are injured. Lots of speed and physicality!

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15 hours ago, JCM7 said:

Burrows plays over Gaunce & Grenier until they prove they are NHL players and I don't think that Dorsett will be here.  A healthy Burrows is still a better player than Etem and Virtanen as well.  That said, they will all get their minutes.  

 

The organization over-hypes young players to stir up more excitement for the team.  Virtanen was a top 10 pick with real top 6 potential so I get that, but Guance and Grenier are guys who've proven that they can be SLIGHTLY above average in the AHL.  These guys might not ever be regulars on the big team.   If they are it is very unlikely that they will be more than bottom 6 character guys.  The Canucks will certainly not remove a more skilled, more valuable experienced 2-way forward from the line up in order to give mid-level prospects a chance to play.  They will get their opportunities but they'll have to earn full time spots.

But, if Burrows can't crack the top-6 - I don't know that this team is deep enough to field a top-9 - I'm not too keen on seeing him battle for a job in the bottom half among forwards. And, if he's doing that or, worse, gifted a bottom-6 spot because everybody loves him, that's not exactly giving the Grenier's and Gaunce's a fair shot at a roster spot. Things would open up tremendously in the bottom half if Dorsett were moved. But, I'm not so keen on that just yet. He actually proved himself to be more than a mere plug in his first season here. Don't know what happened in the second. If he can provide a decent balance of the surprising offensive skill - yes, I'm serious! I saw him do it that first year - with the salt and vinegar from last year, I'd have no beef with him at RW4. Especially if it sent Virtanen to Utica for a year of seasoning. 

 

Having Dorsett in the bottom-6 is fine since that's the expectation for him anyway. But, not with Burrows. What's the difference between him and Higgins? Specifically, why were CDC'rs, for the most part, not saddened by his demotion and ultimate release? Yet, they'll seemingly raise holy hell if Burrows is given the same treatment, even when it can be argued that it'd be warranted. There's only 1 way to find out if these pups - especially the ones near age 25 - are going to pan out. I just don't think that being stuck behind Burrows on the depth chart - while he, himself, could possibly be fighting for a job - is the best way to know for sure, one way or the other. 

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From the start of his NHL career nobody thought he belonged in the league until he proved everyone wrong.  Most people think he's done....I expect him to prove everyone wrong again.  Also I bet he signs with the Habs next year at small cap hit. Id imagine that would be a special place for him to play.

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6 hours ago, Fakename70 said:

But, if Burrows can't crack the top-6 - I don't know that this team is deep enough to field a top-9 - I'm not too keen on seeing him battle for a job in the bottom half among forwards. And, if he's doing that or, worse, gifted a bottom-6 spot because everybody loves him, that's not exactly giving the Grenier's and Gaunce's a fair shot at a roster spot. Things would open up tremendously in the bottom half if Dorsett were moved. But, I'm not so keen on that just yet. He actually proved himself to be more than a mere plug in his first season here. Don't know what happened in the second. If he can provide a decent balance of the surprising offensive skill - yes, I'm serious! I saw him do it that first year - with the salt and vinegar from last year, I'd have no beef with him at RW4. Especially if it sent Virtanen to Utica for a year of seasoning. 

 

Having Dorsett in the bottom-6 is fine since that's the expectation for him anyway. But, not with Burrows. What's the difference between him and Higgins? Specifically, why were CDC'rs, for the most part, not saddened by his demotion and ultimate release? Yet, they'll seemingly raise holy hell if Burrows is given the same treatment, even when it can be argued that it'd be warranted. There's only 1 way to find out if these pups - especially the ones near age 25 - are going to pan out. I just don't think that being stuck behind Burrows on the depth chart - while he, himself, could possibly be fighting for a job - is the best way to know for sure, one way or the other. 

This team is all about a top 9.  There is no real 2nd or 3rd line.  They will be interchangeable and (barring injuries) ice time will be very similar.  

 

My hope is that Bo and Baer stay together as they showed great chemistry in the second half last year.  My second hope is that Dorsett or Sbisa is traded with a mid-round draft pick or borderline prospect for a legitimate scoring winger to play on this line.  Since Dorsett makes 2.65mil and The Canucks have 3.47 in cap space currently they could take on a contract of up to about 6.1mil (a pretty good player).  The most likely scenario would be that this player comes from a team looking to free up cap space.  Depending on the value of the player, more may have to be involved in the deal.  Nevertheless, this puts Bo and Baer in a great position to build off of last year.

 

Line 2B would be Sutter, Burrows, and Hansen.  These guys would form a great shutdown line with the ability to play key minutes and take some of the pressure off of line 2A.

 

Line 4 would most likely be centered by  Granlund.  Which leaves Virtanen, Etem, Rodin, Gaunce, and Grenier.  Only 2 of these guys will make the opening day lineup but injuries will happen presenting more opportunities for others to get in.  If one of these guys steps up and plays extremely well they might move up in the lineup.

 

When Burrows and Kesler were starting out they played on a bottom 6 line with Trevor Linden.  If one of the young guys shows they are capable to take on more responsibility and more minutes, Burr would gladly step into this type of role on the 4th line.

 

Ultimately guys will move up and down the lineup, but this give us 3 very good lines out of the gate.  Burr will likely only be here for one more year, but he will be play a key roll even if he is not quite playing the minutes he has in the past.

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10 hours ago, JCM7 said:

This team is all about a top 9.  There is no real 2nd or 3rd line.  They will be interchangeable and (barring injuries) ice time will be very similar.  

 

My hope is that Bo and Baer stay together as they showed great chemistry in the second half last year.  My second hope is that Dorsett or Sbisa is traded with a mid-round draft pick or borderline prospect for a legitimate scoring winger to play on this line.  Since Dorsett makes 2.65mil and The Canucks have 3.47 in cap space currently they could take on a contract of up to about 6.1mil (a pretty good player).  The most likely scenario would be that this player comes from a team looking to free up cap space.  Depending on the value of the player, more may have to be involved in the deal.  Nevertheless, this puts Bo and Baer in a great position to build off of last year.

 

Line 2B would be Sutter, Burrows, and Hansen.  These guys would form a great shutdown line with the ability to play key minutes and take some of the pressure off of line 2A.

 

Line 4 would most likely be centered by  Granlund.  Which leaves Virtanen, Etem, Rodin, Gaunce, and Grenier.  Only 2 of these guys will make the opening day lineup but injuries will happen presenting more opportunities for others to get in.  If one of these guys steps up and plays extremely well they might move up in the lineup.

 

When Burrows and Kesler were starting out they played on a bottom 6 line with Trevor Linden.  If one of the young guys shows they are capable to take on more responsibility and more minutes, Burr would gladly step into this type of role on the 4th line.

 

Ultimately guys will move up and down the lineup, but this give us 3 very good lines out of the gate.  Burr will likely only be here for one more year, but he will be play a key roll even if he is not quite playing the minutes he has in the past.

I don't know. Your scenario suggests too many question marks and interchangeable parts to me. If they're rolling out a top-9, it's likely because there isn't the proven consistent talent to field an impressive top-6. There isn't a clear separation between a top-6 group and a bottom-6. Hopefully the addition of Hartnell can change that. 

Ultimately, whether it's a top-6/bottom-6 combo or a top-9 doesn't really matter all THAT much so long as everyone has a defined role and produces. 

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On 24 July 2016 at 10:12 AM, SaintPatrick33 said:

Burr, Grandlund and Dors make up the ideal 4th line, a combo of grit, heart and ability to make something happen. If we only play this line 10 to 12 min, I think we can get the most out of Burr. You can have faith if this line gets stuck on the ice, 2 vets plus a smart young player, grandlund just needs to work on his faceoffs. I am expecting a 15 goal season out of Burr, if Willie uses him right on the 4th and PK, we can have success. Injuries of course will affect this lineup, but to me a 4th line that has veteran presence is a great thing to have. 

Once the Canucks were out of the running WD said he was testing lines for next season.   Not once did Granlund play with Burrows, Dorsett, or Gaunce (also never did before).  Why wouldn't he have tested those lines?

 

They want to develop Granlund as a top-9 forward.  They call him a skilled player and Benning took a shot at Calgary re Baertschi saying skilled players need to play with skilled players.  McCann was a bit different because he was just getting his footing in the league - for Granlund it's about taking the next step.  I think it's more likely to see him play with Baertschi with Rodin or Virtanen at RW on this 4th line.  Baertschi-Granlund was the go-to combination when both were healthy.   Maybe Burrows slots in at RW if Rodin and Virtanen can't make the team but I see him at LW2 if they can't find that gritty forward or on the Horvat line.  

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13 hours ago, Fakename70 said:

I don't know. Your scenario suggests too many question marks and interchangeable parts to me. If they're rolling out a top-9, it's likely because there isn't the proven consistent talent to field an impressive top-6. There isn't a clear separation between a top-6 group and a bottom-6. Hopefully the addition of Hartnell can change that. 

Ultimately, whether it's a top-6/bottom-6 combo or a top-9 doesn't really matter all THAT much so long as everyone has a defined role and produces. 

I agree completely.  The only problem is that when you have several young/unproven players all you have is question marks and interchangeable parts.  Bo and Baer really showed some promise last year and I think they'll be given a longer leash as a result.  They will almost definitely be given middle 6 spots out if camp.  That said, the Canucks have Hansen, Sutter and Burrows who have all proven that they are more than qualified to play in key situations.  That means that there would only be one spot to fill in the middle 6.  Assuming that JB makes the trade that he has talked about, that will fill those lines.  The worst thing for the Canucks to do would be to pull one of those proven players out of that mix to take a gamble on another young player who may or may not crash and burn.  Barring injury, if one of the other young guys earns a spot higher up in the line up Burrows would most likely be the guy to slide into a 4th line roll.  If this were to happen, everyone (Burr included) would see this as a great thing as it would make the team that much more competitive.  But this will be a gradual move.  It is good for the team that we have a solid pro like Alex Burrows to help this transition.

 

Given that Bo and Baer are still young and improving, if they struggle out of the gate the other middle 6 line has to be solid enough to take some of the pressure off.  If you throw more unproven guys on to that line there is no real insulation.  We could get lucky and it could exceed anyone's expectations but that would be a miracle.

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Sedin, Sedin, Hansen

Baer, Sutter, Eriksson 

Burrows, Horvat, Etem 

Rodin/Virtanen, Granlund, Dorsett

 

Zalewski

 

But I could just as easily see him traded or in Utica if he hasn't had as good of a summer as some younger guys. 

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