NHL Canadian Corner – July 7, 2014

The latest on Alex Burrows, plus updates on the Oilers, Maple Leafs, Flames and Jets. 

Can Alex Burrows bounce back in 2014-15?

Can Alex Burrows bounce back in 2014-15?

VANCOUVER PROVINCE: The Canucks signing of Radim Vrbata means long-time Canucks winger Alex Burrows has to prove to new GM Jim Benning and new coach Willie Desjardins he’s still a capable offensive presence.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Burrows is 33 and has three years remaining on his contract with a no-trade clause earning a cap hit of $4.5 million annually. If he’s unable to retain his offensive form next season, that contract will become a burden for the rebuilding Canucks. 

EDMONTON SUN: Oilers prospect Dillon Simpson hopes to follow in the footsteps of his famous father, Craig Simpson.

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs have shrunk their prospect camp this summer from 40 to 29. It’s also believed Maple Leafs defenseman Jake Gardiner, who passed up filing for arbitration, will receive a bridge deal between $2-$3 million annually.

CALGARY HERALD: Former NHL tough guy Troy Crowder is now a player development coach with the Flames.

WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets development camp opens today at the MTS Centre.


  1. With the age of Gardiner, the new found wiggle room on the cap, and how Gardiner looked at the end of the year The Leafs would be smart to buy up a couple of Gardiners UFA years to avoid a big payday in 2 years its a bit of a gamble but another contract like JVR would be a good thing, maybe 4 or 5 years for 4.5 or 4.75.

    • A real smart observation on your part, my friend! I’m sure the Habs are thinking they should have employed a similar approach with Subban a few years back when they were in the same situation. The only difference being Subban’s development progressed at a faster rate than Gardiner currently appears to be going, and thus he may not have been as open to a longer bridge contract. I think your proposal makes perfect sense for both the Leafs and Gardiner, though! “Perfect sense” and “Leafs”, however, are words you’ll rarely find in the same sentence. Here’s hoping someone in the blue-and-white hierarchy shares your thought processes.

  2. Like many fans out here, I expect a serious bounce back year for several Canucks, including Alex Burrows. This would be a good year to pick the Sedins in your hockey pool.

  3. i’m sure the Canucks will have a bounceback year now that the craziness of Tortorella’s system is behind them (you don’t expect your goalie to score so why would you expect your top forwards to block shots?). injuries caught up to Vancouver last year and all Tortorella’s defensive scheme seemed to do was stop the Canucks from scoring, i’ll give Tortorella credit for putting Sestito out against Nolan after he took a run at Henrik, true to form Nolan punked out when challenged and caught a beating for it … if nothing else last year the Canucks didn’t back down. Burrows and Sedin spent a lot of time injured last year and their totals were down but Burrows showed he still has a high level of skill on the goals he scored near the end of the year. having a 2nd line center who actually wants to be here should make a big difference as well (for all Kesler’s complaining about having no one to play with he seemed to forget that he isn’t a passer and Tortorella had it right when he put him on the wing ) if Bonino can pass the puck like he’s been advertised then production from the 2nd line should improve in a big way. now that we’ve seen what an effective GM can do (Benning almost did more in about a month than Gillis did during his entire time as GM) it shows how important having a strong presence in the front office is. where Gillis applied bandaids, waiver wire pickups and whatever Tallon wanted to get rid of Benning & Linden assessed what the problems were and acted fast to get rid of a malcontent, an overpaid dman and Booth who may have been Gillis’s biggest mistake, freeing up much needed Cap room to get the depth that was missing last year.