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Canucks Player Autopsy: Alex Burrows

If you could summarize Vancouver's 2013-14 season in the plight of one man's year, Burrows would work perfectly.

Them threads man.
Them threads man.
Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Who's this guy?

Alex Burrows. Mr. Everything. Also on the table for discussion: the unluckiest SOB in hockey.

Position: LW

Shoots: Left

Height: 6'1''

Weight: 195 lbs

Born: April 11, 1981 in in Pincourt, Quebec. Fun fact: on this date eight years later, Ron Hextall would become the first goaltender in NHL history to score a goal in the playoffs (against a Caps team that had Scott Stevens on it). You're welcome.

Mr. Everything doesn't need no stinkin' draft. He went from the QMJHL in 2000-01 to the ECHL in 2002-05 to the AHL in 2005-06 and finally to the NHL and into your hearts full time in 2006.

What'd he do?

If Burrows didn't have bad luck, he'd have no luck at all. The third Sedin was injured in the very first game of the year, walking out of San Jose in the dreaded moon boot after blocking a shot. The broken foot kept him out of the lineup for 12 games and he'd finally return against the Caps late in October. It took him until November 8th against San Jose to record his first points of the year (2A) and he eventually reclaimed his spot alongside the Sedins by mid-November, pushing Kesler back down to 2LC with Hansen and Higgins.

Enter December 2nd when, during practice, noted blood-thirsty savage Chris Tanev cleared a puck along the boards and Burrows, in a fit of sudden hunger pangs, tried to eat it. The broken jaw knocked him out of the line-up for six weeks. He'd return on January 18th against Calgary, but had yet to light the lamp which became a  bit of a running joke or growing concern, pick one. Burrows would have to wait an agonizing 28 total games before finally scor....just kidding, he got injured again, this time a sprained hand against Montreal that sidelined him through the Olympic break.

It would take 41 games into this lovely season until Burrows, in a SO victory over Winnipeg, finally notched his first and second goals of the year. Vancouver's top line - which, by early March, was the worst top line offensively in the entire league - started to come together later that month; in a two game stretch against the Panthers and Lightning, Burrows dug up three goals and six points. Regrettably, the fun stopped there: in the final name games, Burrows would add one assist and little else as he and the team whimpered across the finish line and into their early summer.

So was he any good?

Season Games Points SH% Corsi For% Fenwick For % O/D/St%
2013-2014 49 15 4.8 56 55.9 37.2
2012-2013 47 24 9.3 58.4 58.2 43.1
2011-2012 80 52 14.1 58 55.9 48.1

Let's start with the obvious: staying healthy was a problem. Missing 32 games due to injury was a career worst and strained Vancouver's already thin offensive depth to its limit. Of course the first injury - les broken foot - followed on the heels (zing) of Jordan Schroeder fracturing his ankle in the preseason, both of which brought up Tortorella's love of shot blocking to the forefront. But, hey, let's not speak ill of the most recently unemployed.

When he was on the ice, he was tied with Higgins in QoC TOI% at 29.2%, trailing only Kesler and the Sedins.

What'd we like?

Cool. So what did we hate?

Don't eat pucks Alex. Stop that.

So what now?

Burrows is locked in at $4.5 million through 2017 and, yes, there's a NTC there too. He doesn't strike me as a tradeable asset but, hey, it's a rebuild so never say never. We can write this season off; the guy was snake-bit and the cascade effect through the line-up hurt the team. Pinned in the OZ alongside the Sedins again there's no reason to think he can't hit the 40-50 point mark again. If the new coach moves him down to the second or checking line, his point totals may stay modest but he's still valuable on the QoC side of life. On versatility alone he remains one of the valuable pieces on the roster.

If injury stats had a PDO, we'd be looking for a significant regression starting this fall.