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Thank You, Mr. Everything

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After 13 NHL seasons, the most unlikely of stories comes to a close as Alexandre Burrows announces his retirement.

Vancouver Canucks v Calgary Flames Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images

His presence in the Canucks lineup even for one game was an amazing story and a testament to his work ethic and perseverance. From the moment he arrived, he became a fan favorite, transcending the role of pest to become the linemate that the Sedins had been waiting their whole career for. He was known around these parts as Mr. Everything, because he filled so many roles, and had so many big moments. In honour of his retirement, we look back at what Alexandre Burrows meant to us as Canucks fans.

jimmi.cynic: AMFB contributed to some sweet mayhem, fab finger-stuffing and goal-snapping magic. The Slayer goal seems like just last month.

Without this goal, 2011 might have just been another version of 2010. Or 2009.

And this sweet goal drown ‘Swimming Timmi’ in his own flop.

Best goal of the 2011 SCF? I like to think so. We won the series thanks to Burrows - the best of 3 series. Unfortunately, as you may recall, the league titled the ice towards the east and well...it’s still too fresh. We can look back dispassionately... in a future decade.

Burrs was more than a 2011 Cup clutch warrior. He was possibly the best triplet ever. In 2011 and 2012, with Alex playing with the Twins, we won the President’s Trophy. The 2nd toughest trophy to win in sports, btw. Burrs, the undrafted upstart pest who won our Nucky hearts with his feisty determination. Thanks, Alex, for all you gave on and off the ice.

Cole Waggoner: Alex Burrows did a lot for the city of Vancouver. But, the day(s) that I got on board the Burrows train were January 5th, and January 7th, 2010. Those were back-to-back games where Burrows netted in back-to-back hat tricks. Once I saw that he can do something other than annoy the hell out of someone, I was sold. Thank you, Alex.

Kent Basky: When looking back at the career of Alex Burrows, one needs to tune out the noise and focus on facts. And the facts are that the Sedins became superstars when Alex Burrows became their linemate. The praise they heap upon Burr to this day differs from the usual kind words about the square pegs the Canucks tried over the years. That line, from it’s inception was a force that teams couldn’t find an answer for. From their first game together in 2009 to 2013, Burrows scored 100 even strength goals, behind only Alex Ovechkin and Steven Stamkos. The popular notion that all you need to do with the Sedins is keep your stick on the ice might account for the production increase with guys like Trent Klaat and Jason King, but the reason Burr and the Twins worked so well was he thought the game at the same level they did. Anson Carter was good with them, but Sedinery was a two man show until Alain Vigneault gave Burrows the chance.

Yes, Burrows was a pain in the ass to play against, but show me a team that doesn’t have an asshole on their team that is downright adored by their fanbase. And unlike many of them, Burrows was better and more consistent for longer. There were times when he literally willed this team into wins. None had a bigger heart, and it was that infectious emotion that he showed that made him a legend. If a player scores 1 playoff OT winner in their career, it’s likely they look back when it’s all said and done as the highlight of their time in the NHL. Burrows not only did 3, but 2 of them were series clinching goals.

Fastest goal from the start of a game in team history. Fastest OT goal in team history. First back to back hat tricks from a Canucks player since 1986. All from a guy who wasn’t even supposed to be there. Now we wait for what should be an easy decision to add him to the Canucks’ Ring Of Honour, a fitting tribute to a guy who bled Blue and Green like no one else. A huge part of this team’s history. Merci, Alex.

Beggsy: It’s unfathomable to think that an undrafted veteran who bounced between three ECHL teams will go down as one of the greatest Canucks of all time. While he became an enemy around the league, all Burrows did in Vancouver was grind and score his way into the hearts of Canucks fans everywhere.

It wasn’t just about the goal scoring for Burrows. He earned respect from fans with his tenacity and fearlessness as he climbed the depth chart. That’s something fans in other markets don’t understand. While everyone sees a player who crosses the line (which isn’t untrue), in this market we see a player who never gave up, scored some incredible goals, and one who played with emotion. He might have pissed other teams off, but he was a good teammate to those around him. One of his most emotional goals was the first goal he scored in the Canucks first game after Luc Bourdon’s passing.

Not only was Burrows a member of the Canucks best line of all-time, but he was an integral part of the most talented Canucks team in their near 50-year history. Sometimes, it only takes one goal to cement your legacy, and Burrows was forever a hero when he slayed the Chicago dragon. Even so, that remains just one outstanding moment in a career filled with entertaining memories for Canucks fans everywhere.

Everyone is a sucker for a good underdog story, and Burrows really was the ultimate underdog. He’s a true example of why you should never give up on your goals. It would have been easy for Burrows to quit hockey before every logging an NHL game. Now, he’s played more than 900 games, has more than 200 goals and 400 points, and has kickstarted a coaching career in the AHL.

So thank you Alex, for everything you did for the fans, this franchise, and this city. It’s abundantly clear that you have one of the brightest minds in the game, and we all know you’ll be a star off the ice as well.