Alexandre Burrows hasn't played for the Vancouver Canucks since 2017, but he was the center of attention at Rogers Arena on Tuesday.
The Canucks inducted the retired winger — who played 13 seasons in Vancouver — into the franchise's Ring of Honour in recognition of his lasting impact on the team.
During warmups, the entire team wore Burrows' No. 14 jersey in his honor and then the man himself, along with his family, walked out to center ice for the pregame ceremonial puck drop.
The 38-year-old Pincourt, Que., native thanked Canucks owner Fransisco Aquilini, his family and all of his teammates throughout the years — including his frequent linemates Henrik and Daniel Sedin — when he was handed the microphone to speak directly to the crowd.
Gonna tell my kids this is Alex Burrows.
And him... pic.twitter.com/oouUSaqgfW
— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) December 4, 2019
“Special thank you to Hank and Danny [Henrik and Daniel Sedin], you guys are the best," Burrows said. "Obviously I want to thank you guys for all those backdoor tap-ins you guys gave me, but more importantly you guys always believed in myself and you guys have no idea what it meant to me, so thank you very much. You guys are living legends, future Hall of Famers, and obviously the best role models I could ever ask for, so thank you very much.”
An undrafted free agent after aging out of junior hockey, Burrows spent three seasons playing his way through the ECHL and AHL before he signed with the Canucks on Nov. 8, 2005. He made his NHL debut later that season and won fans' hearts for over a decade in blue and green. He even scored one of the most iconic goals in Vancouver history when he eliminated the Chicago Blackhawks in overtime of Game 7 in the 2011 playoffs.
"Ever since I was a kid, I always dreamed of playing in the NHL," Burrows told the Rogers Arena crowd. "But passion isn’t the only thing you need to get to the NHL. For me, hard work, never being satisfied, never-quit attitude, always wanting to get better and a great supporting cast around me made it possible.”
Burrows is the seventh player named to the Canucks Ring of Honour since the award was created in the 2010-11 season. Previously inducted members include Orland Kurtenbach, Kirk McLean, Thomas Gradin, Harold Snepsts, Pat Quinn and Mattias Ohlund.