When the 2015-16 season came to a close, it seemed a sure bet that the Vancouver Canucks were going to buy out the final year of Alex Burrows’ four-year, $18MM contract. He’d seen his play dwindle, and GM Jim Benning was clear that he wanted to move in a younger direction, all but pointing the finger at the 35-year old. But, as the first buyout window came and went, it was Chris Higgins and not Burrows that found his contract voided.
Now, Burrows says that he’s ready for the new season and is challenging himself to be better. In talking to Ben Kuzma of The Province, Burrows provided great insight into his preparation and mindset heading into this season, including making it clear that he will relish a leadership and mentor opportunity with the younger players this season.
He’s even open to being a healthy scratch on occasion: “There are so many worse things in life than being a healthy scratch or they put a young guy in the lineup ahead of you. My wife is healthy and my kids are healthy and it puts things in perspective.” Here’s some more from around the league:
- After years of floundering without a clear direction, Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News opines that the Carolina Hurricanes are finally doing a re-build the right way. With a full stable of young defensemen they’ve built through the draft, the team now has the option of dealing from a position of depth – one that is scarce throughout the league. Kennedy mentions the recent rumors of David Krejci from Boston as a possible target for one of their young blueliners.
- In hiring Brad Shaw as an assistant coach last month, the Columbus Blue Jackets added an experienced name that can help build and develop their defense like he did in St. Louis. When asked by Rob Mixer of NHL.com why he chose Columbus, Shaw made it clear that players like the recently extended Seth Jones, and second overall pick Ryan Murray were a key factor: “The young defensemen here played a big part in my decision, no doubt about it. The biggest challenge in working with young players is trying to pin down and have a clear picture of what the final product will look like when they’re at their best in the NHL. Every guy is different.”
- After Philadelphia signed Jordan Weal earlier today, three of the twenty-five players who are headed to arbitration (through their own filing or the team’s) have now come to terms before their hearings, as General Fanager tweets. You can follow all the arbitration cases on their tracker, as well as up-to-date depth charts at Roster Resource.