By me, Dee
While the Vancouver Canucks 2011-2012 run for the Cup may have had a disappointing, premature ending, Canucks fans will not have to wait until next season to watch two of their favourite players in action. Jannik Hansen and Alexandre Burrows have been selected to play for their respective homelands in the 2012 IIHF World Hockey Championships, taking place in Helsinki, Finland and Stockholm, Sweden.
Jannik Hansen, a Herlev, Denmark native tallied 39 points this season, setting career highs in all offensive categories, with 16 goals, and 23 assists. Hansen, 26, has represented Denmark internationally on three previous occasions (in 2005, 2006, 2008) and looks forward to the opportunity of playing in red and white again. “It’s always an honour to represent your country… [and] getting a chance to play in your national [team’s] colours [is] always a nice thing” (x) says the young Dane.
Conversely, this will be the first chance for 31 year-old Burrows to represent his country. A native of Pincourt, Quebec, Burrows is a multi-dimensional player that can add both skill and grit to any team. While he may be known more for his animations on the ice, Burrows has been a consistent offensive contributor for the Canucks, racking up 25+ goals a season since the 2008-2009 campaign.
Playing for one’s country on the world stage is an incredible feat for any athlete, but is especially remarkable for players with such humble beginnings such as Hansen (a ninth round draft pick, 287th overall) and Burrows (an undrafted, ball hockey player) both of whom continue to prove sceptics wrong by elevating their game at every opportunity. Hansen and Burrows each notched a goal in the Canucks five game, quarterfinal series before being eliminated by the Kings.
While Hansen and Burrows were not able to capture the Stanley Cup with the Canucks this season, getting the opportunity to play for their home country gives them something to be continue to play for, be proud of, and build on this post-season. Hopefully, it will help keep them motivated to bring Vancouver its first Stanley Cup in franchise history next season.
The World Hockey Championships run from May 4 to May 20.