Rob The Hockey Guy

// A Vancouver Canucks Hockey Blog

Alex Burrows is going to get paaaaaaaaaaaaaid.

Hey everyone, It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything on here that wasn’t a back handed compliment to Mason “the little milt that couldn’t” Raymond or a random piece of funny Canucks news, like the hilarious bit about Dale Weise and him going to salary arbitration.

Today I wanted to forget it’s Monday and that July 23rd is actually the new November 7th in the lower mainland, also, I wanted to talk a little about Alex Burrows and how obvious it is that the man is going to be getting paid.

March 3rd, 2009 – At the tail end of his first of four straight 20 + goal seasons, the Canucks didn’t want to wait until July 1st to sign Burrows to a four year contract extension. It the last season of a contract that paid him slightly above league minimum at $483,333, his extension was a raise of just under $1.6 million per season. Everyone knows how far Burrows has come and the hurdles that he’s had to jump to get where he is today. 134 games in the ECHL, another 107 in the AHL, and of course who could forget about his storied ball hockey accolades? I think it’s safe to say you won’t see Alex Burrows making slightly above league minimum ever again.

Another reason why you won’t see Burrows make league minimum ever again is a result of the contracts that have been handed out over the recent years, some to players who have had one 20 goal season, or even none. For example, Ville Leino was signed by the Buffalo Sabres to a six-year contract that carried a cap hit of $4.5 million per season. That’s 2.25 times more than what Burrows is making, just in his cap hit. His actual pay last season (not including a $5 million dollar signing bonus) was $6 million dollars. How many 20-goal seasons has Leino had? None. Though, to be fair, he came close in his contract year with 19. He also had a good run in the playoffs with the Flyers when they went all the way to the finals. But can one good playoff run and a 19-goal season be worth that much money?

You could argue that Leino’s current deal could be a good starting point for negotiations between Burrows and the Canucks. I have a feeling though, like the season he put his mark on the team, Burrows’ camp and Vancouver management won’t let it get to July 1st before a deal is reached. (That is of course dependant on a new CBA) I think he will be rewarded for his hard work, dedication and the differences he’s made on the stat sheet, night in and night out for the past four seasons. Somewhere in the area of around $4.5 to $5 million dollars per year, spread out over at least three years, possibly four. That would take him to the age of 35, possibly 36.

You have to remember though, while the number may seem large, Burrows does a few more things than just score goals and talk with a funny accent. He’s someone you can have out in almost any situation. Penalty kill, power play, even strength, defending the lead in the last minute. He’s a go to guy.

On the other side of things…

In a couple of years is Burrows going to be as effective of a player as he is now if the Sedin twins don’t resign? Is Gillis even willing to sign him to an extension that could take him to the age of 36? If so, is he comfortable paying someone $4.5 to $5 million dollars a season in the final two years of the contract to (inevitably) play less of a role on the team? Like I said, it’s not just his goal scoring here, it’s his all around game. I’m not saying Burrows’ over all game is going to decline to the point where the deal looks like a pile of puke in the last two seasons, but realistically you have to account for a drop in his production and potentially his over all game.

Then again, if there’s a player who can defy the odds and overcome what may at times have seemed impossible, it could very well be Alex Burrows.

Thanks for reading!

- Mitch



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