Vancouver Canucks forward Alex Burrows has gone on record to say he doesn’t want to waive his no-trade clause and wants to remain with the Canucks.
Reports of Burrows possibly approaching the Canucks surfaced when Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet.ca reported during his headlines segment that Burrows may be willing to waive his no-trade clause should Canucks management approach him.
“The word is if the Vancouver Canucks were doing a youth movement, want to move Alex Burrows, and I don’t know what the market would be, he’s got 4.5 million next year, but if they want to, he would be willing to go.” (H/T VanCity Buzz)
Friedman reported following the game that Burrows himself denied the reports.
Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province further clarified this afternoon that Burrows never asked to waive his no-trade and wants to remain with the club.
Burrows confirmed he never said he was willing to waive NTC, wants to remain with club. One year left on deal. #Canucks
— Ben Kuzma (@benkuzma) February 14, 2016
Even if Burrows was willing to waive his no-trade, it’s unclear whether Canucks management are buyers or sellers with the trade deadline upcoming. Looking at Vancouvers 22-21-12 record, plus the Canucks being in desperate need of a reset, you’d think they’d be sellers. But, Canucks general manager Jim Benning has gone on the record to say it’s too early to tell.
Appearing on TSN 1040 Radio, Benning said he still wants to analyze where the team is at, despite their less than impressive record.
“It’s too early. We have another five, six games here before the deadline and we want to analyze where the team is at.
I would even look to add, if we can, to make our team better to compete for a playoff spot. We want to make the playoffs.”
The Canucks buying despite only winning 22 of 55 games would be crazy, but I’m inclined to believe Benning is not incompetent (despite some shaky moves) and is probably just holding off on publicly announcing his team stinks to preserve faith from Canucks fans – even if they know a rebuild is imminent. Sources have said Benning wants to rebuild, but the team’s owners won’t allow it.
Should that rebuild happen, Burrows would be one of the first players to go. The 34-year-old has had an OK season with seven goals, nine assists, and 16 points in 53 games, playing with ever-changing linemates. It’s a far cry from the time he scored 25+ goals in four straight seasons from 2008-12, but Burrows can still chip in as a third-liner.
Burrows is an agitator, who can score 10-15 goals and just about every team could use a player like that. He’s owed a prorated $4.5 million this season, and the same amount next season, so his salary is on the high-side. Moving Burrows would allow Vancouver to move more youngsters in the lineup, including Hunter Shinkaruk and Brendan Gaunce.
Trading Burrows makes sense, but his no-trade clause and Benning’s unsureness of where the Canucks stand confuses this situation, even if it seems obvious to everybody else that Vancouver needs to unplug things and reboot.