Alexandre Ménard-Burrows (born April 11, 1981) is a Canadian former professional ice hockey left winger who played in the National Hockey League (NHL) with the Vancouver Canucks and the Ottawa Senators. He is known for playing in the style of an agitator and for his ascension to the NHL from being an undrafted player in the ECHL. After a two-year career in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), he played in the minor leagues for three seasons. He was signed by the Vancouver Canucks in 2005 from their American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Manitoba Moose. Burrows established himself as a checking forward with the Canucks in his first three NHL seasons before emerging as a scorer with four consecutive 25+ goal seasons from 2008–09 to 2011–12.
Before making it to the NHL, Burrows also enjoyed a prolific ball hockey career, competing in national and international tournaments in the summers. In 2005, he was named the International Ball Hockey Player of the Year. He has also been inducted into the Canadian and International Ball Hockey Hall of Fame.
Burrows played two seasons in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) with the Shawinigan Cataractes, beginning in 2000–01. He recorded 16 goals and 30 points over 63 regular season games, then added three points over 10 post-season games. The following season, he improved to 35 goals and 70 points over 64 games, third in team-scoring, behind Jonathan Bellemare and Jason Pominville. He went on to lead his team in post-season scoring with nine goals and 21 points in 12 games as the Cataractes advanced to the Conference Finals, where they were eliminated in seven games by the Victoriaville Tigres.
Undrafted by a National Hockey League (NHL) club, Burrows went professional in 2002–03 with the Greenville Grrrowl of the ECHL, a third-tier minor league. Late in his professional rookie season, he transferred to the Baton Rouge Kingfish and finished with a combined 32 points in 66 games between the two teams. The following season, in 2003–04, he returned to the South Division, as he was signed by the Columbia Inferno. Early in the season, he was signed by Columbia's American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Manitoba Moose, on October 21, 2003, having been scouted by Moose general manager Craig Heisinger. He appeared in two AHL games for Manitoba before being sent back down to the ECHL. Shortly after his return, he was suspended for three games and fined an undisclosed amount by the league for abusing officials during a game on October 24 against the Greensboro Generals. Later on in the season, he was named to the 2004 ECHL All-Star Game for the Eastern Conference and recorded one assist. He went on to finish the season with 29 goals and 73 points, second in points among Columbia players to league-scoring champion Tim Smith.
In the subsequent off-season, Burrows was re-signed by the Moose on August 3, 2004. He was initially sent back down to the ECHL after a training camp both he and head coach Randy Carlyle described as disappointing. Following an injury to Wade Brookbank, he was recalled on October 29, 2004. He scored his first AHL goal with the Moose five days later, a game-winning goal against goaltender David LeNeveu of the Utah Grizzlies in a 2–1 win. He finished the 2004–05 season with Manitoba and posted 26 points over 72 games in a fourth-line role.
The night of his first star of the week selection, Burrows and the Canucks played a controversial game against the Nashville Predators. With the game tied 2–2 in the third period, Burrows was penalized twice by referee Stéphane Auger – once for diving and the other for interference. The latter call was deemed questionable by media sources, including TSN and the National Post. The interference penalty along with an additional penalty committed by Henrik Sedin resulted in Nashville's game-winning, 5-on-3 powerplay goal late in the game. With three seconds to go in regulation, Burrows skated by Auger and protested the interference penalty, resulting in an unsportsmanlike minor and a ten-minute misconduct.
Following the game, Burrows accused Auger of having a personal vendetta against him for a play against the Predators the previous month that had made him look bad. After Burrows had been hit into the boards by Nashville forward Jerred Smithson during a game on December 8, 2009, Auger assessed Smithson with a five-minute major and a game misconduct. However, the league later rescinded because it was believed Burrows had embellished injury. Burrows claimed that Auger told him before the January 11 game: "you made me look bad so I'm going to get you back tonight." He went on to tell reporters that Auger "should stay out for the rest of the year making calls like that ... We just blew two points because of his officiating tonight."
The following day, the NHL fined Burrows US$2,500 for publicly criticizing Auger and deemed that his claims "cannot be substantiated." Later that week, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC)'s Hockey Night in Canada telecast aired an 11-minute segment hosted by Ron MacLean and NHL vice-president Colin Campbell reviewing Burrows' past transgressions, spanning two years. The segment was widely criticized for being biased against Burrows and failing to illustrate both sides of the argument. Burrows' parents subsequently issued a formal letter of complaint to the CBC, accusing MacLean of "verbal assassination" and for displaying "no journalistic balance."
The following Saturday after the segment aired, the Canucks refused any interviews with the CBC before, during or after their game against the Chicago Blackhawks, which was broadcast on Hockey Night in Canada. The boycott was ordered by Canucks general manager Mike Gillis after MacLean refused to apologize. CBC and Canucks representatives later agreed in a conference call to "move on" and team players were allowed to resume interviews. MacLean later issued an unofficial apology aimed to clarify the situation.
Following his seventh NHL season, Burrows received his first invite to the Canadian national team for the 2012 IIHF World Championship, held in Finland and Sweden. Burrows' Vancouver Canucks had been eliminated in the first round of the 2012 playoffs, making him available for selection. At 31 years old, he was the oldest player on the Canadian roster. Making his Team Canada debut against Slovakia in the first game of the tournament, he fell to the ice and hit his head after colliding with two opposing players. After leaving the ice, he was kept out of the contest with concerns that he had sustained a concussion. The following day, Burrows' agent, Paul Corbeil, told reporters that while he was symptom free, a return to the lineup would not be possible for four-to-five days, as per team protocol in scenarios in which a concussion is suspected. Returning to the lineup a week after the hit, he scored his first career international goal against Finnish goaltender Kari Lehtonen in a 5–3 win. The following contest, he scored a shorthanded goal in an 8–0 win against Kazakhstan to earn player of the game honours for Canada.
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