Burmistrov’s agent Dan Milstein tweeted Sunday that his client has “retired from the NHL.”
This news comes a day after the depth forward was scratched from Saturday’s 3-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues so the Canucks could use seven defencemen. Burmistov played 4:53 in a 5-4 loss to the San Jose Sharks on Thursday.
Canucks GM Jim Benning told Postmedia that Burmistrov asked to be released.
“Alex made the decision to be released from his contract today in order to pursue a playing opportunity outside of the NHL,” Benning said in an emailed statement. “We’re supportive of his decision and wish the best for Alex.”
The 26-year-old has two goals and six points in 24 games for the Canucks, his first year with the team after signing a one-year, $900,000 contract in the summer.
Drafted eighth overall by the Atlanta Thrashers, Burmistrov spent most of his 348-game career with the Thrashers/Winnipeg Jets organization. He left the Jets in 2013 and returned to his native Russia to play for Ak Bars Kazan of the KHL. He spent two seasons there before rejoining the Jets in 2015.
Prior to his season, Burmistrov spent the 2016-17 campaign with the Arizona Coyotes. He has 37 goals and 101 points in 348 career NHL games.
Burmistrov’s decision to leave the Canucks comes while the team needs reinforcements up front. Vancouver is missing forwards Sven Baertschi (jaw), Bo Horvat (foot), and Brandon Sutter (lower body) to long-term injuries. Winger Derek Dorsett was also forced to retire last month because of back problems.