Ottawa Senators forward Alex Burrows is expected to return to the lineup on Friday night after serving his 10-game suspension for kneeing New Jersey Devils Taylor Hall last month.
In the meantime, he was also placed on waivers by the Canadian team, just a day prior to the trade deadline. No surprise, the controversial forward was not claimed by any other club, in part thanks to another year at $2.5 million left on his contract. While he was eligible to go to the club’s AHL affiliate in Belleville, Burrows has been a good veteran for the team and was kept in the fold. Hence, why he returns tonight.
He expressed regrets for his gesture towards Hall, wanting to move on from the incident, which you can see in the video here below:
"It's been a while for sure," Burrows told Bruce Garrioch of The Ottawa Sun. “It’s tough to be away from the team and be away from the guys on a daily basis. I’m glad I’m back now.
“Obviously, I messed up on that one. I let the emotions get the best of me. I’ve moved on now. I’ve put it behind me I’m looking forward to getting back into the lineup and helping the guys win some games.”
Burrows will rejoin a lineup that has changed tremendously since the trade deadline as Derrick Brassard, Dion Phaneuf, Nick Shore, Nate Thompson, Chris DiDomenico and Johnny Oduya have all left the circle due to trades and waiver activity.
While Oduya was claimed on waivers and Burrows was not, the forward says he understands Senators general manager Pierre Dorion's decision to place him on waivers with Oduya.
"We’ve had great talks since I’ve been here for a year and I understand the business side of things and I understand the situation that we’re in as a team and as an organization,” he said. “I totally understand.
“That's what I told Pierre, ‘You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do for the best interests of the team’. I’m all for it. I understand the game and that’s conversation is going to remain between him and me. The discussion I had with Pierre was good, honest and straightforward.”
The 36-year-old's future remains uncertain for the forward who has just tallied hree goals and eight points in 51 games this season. Some rumors hinted recently that the Senators might be looking to buy out his contract during the summer. However, Burrows does not want to focus on that for the moment.
“That’s the way it goes sometimes. You can’t do anything about it right now but there’s 20 games left, I’ve got to have a good attitude and give it my all and we’ll see where that takes me in the summer,” he said.
The Senators are hoping to snap a five-game losing streak tonight as they face the Vegas Golden Knights. Maybe Burrows can manage to convince the Senators to keep him in the summer, or he will have to at least start proving to other teams that he can be a veteran that can lead a young team - in the right direction this time.