Sunday, June 9, 2013

Alexandre Burrows: 4 Autographed Cards

I've been sitting on this one for roughly two years - since January 18, 2011 - first because I was overwhelmed and didn't know how to tell the story, then because I stashed them in such a safe place that when I moved, I couldn't find them anymore until today, while I was preparing to... move again.In any event, here's where I was at:
In high school, everything apart from the classes was fun. Many teachers took their roles seriously enough to impact many of our lives, I was on both the football and hockey teams, and the girls were smart and beautiful. On those football and hockey teams, I'd play alongside future NFLer Jean-Philippe Darche and NHLers Benjamin Guité, Jean-Luc Grand-Pierre, and Mathieu Darche. As it turns out, my close friend Catherine's younger brother, Alexandre Burrows, also made it.

That's in addition to those from All-Star  Québec teams, including the gold-winning U-17 team in 1995. They were the best years of my life, my Glory Days as Bruce Springsteen so aptly described.

But let's go back to Alex Burrows, as his story is worth telling. A solid player in the LHJMQ for the Shawinigan Cataractes, he was a nonetheless a long-shot for NHL stardom, although he already proved to be a strong pressure and playoff performer, with a 9-goal, 19-point post-season in 10 games in 2001-02. Undrafted, he made his way through the ECHL, then to the AHL's Manitoba Moose, where he again started at the bottom of the barrel, culminating with a 2005-06 season that saw him post 30 points in 33 egular-season games, and 13 points in 13 playoff games. Which is where this card comes in, from In The Game's 2005-06 Heroes And Prospects set (card #391):
From that point on, he got the attention of the Vancouver Canucks, with whom he once again went from role player to impact player, going from 9 goals in his first full season with the team to four straight 25-plus goal seasons (28, 35, 26, and 28) before the lock-out-shortened season.

And from his time in Vancouver, I have these mementos, first with the white (away) uniform:
That one's from Upper Deck's 2008-09 O-Pee-Chee set (card 450, the Gold/Chrome variation), while the one below is from Panini's 2010-11 Score set (card #458):
There's also this cool 2010-11 Victory card (#185 in the set) from UD, showing him in the Canucks' third - completely retro - uniform:
I'd sent him the three Canucks cards and a fan letter on November 23rd, 2010, and I got them all back on January 18th, 2011, signed in black sharpie, with the Moose one thrown in as well. As big a fan as I was beforehand, it doubled right there and then!

Sometimes I wish our hometown Montréal Canadiens would have picked him up and/or had the Canucks' insight by offering him a minor-league contract, but on the other hand, we didn't have the team to cash in on his talents, and he got to play with the Sedins - on their line! - in Vancouver, so, clearly, he did end up in the better situation.

No comments:

Post a Comment