Canucks: Alex Burrows and ball hockey

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Through 50 years of Vancouver Canucks hockey characters. Here, I’m taking a look back on how Alexandre Burrows emerged as a franchise great.

Former Vancouver Canucks forward Burrows made a name for himself during his time with the Sedin twins.

Dubbed as the “third Sedin,” Burrows was the ideal player to complete the top line. At their peak, that trio was one of the most dominant in hockey, leading the Canucks to years of glory — including a trip to the 2011 Stanley Cup Final.

While his on-ice NHL journey is well documented, there were some things that were different about Burrows’ hockey story. Yes, he was one of the rare players to go undrafted, advance through the ECHL and make a name for himself in the NHL. But that is not what I am here to talk about.

The soon-to-be ring of honour member is considered one of the best ball hockey players in the history of the game. Burrows began playing ball hockey at 19 and went on to win multiple national and international championships. Like most Canadians, his affection for the casual game began on his local roads — it was after that did he and his friend form their team the “Montreal Red Lites.”

The team, which at the time featured only players from his neighbourhoodcompeted in 3-on-3 and 4-on-4 tournaments, before realizing they could take their passion to the next level in competitive full 5-on-5 leagues.

Although 5-on-5 was an attractive option, it was not yet realistic for the boys. With the full game, they needed a full hockey roster. This led to the Red Lites joining up with another small-sided team to form the squad which would go down in Canadian ball hockey history.

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