34-Year-Old Left Wing – Columbus Blue Jackets
Rene Bourque Contract Information:
Bourque signed a six-year, $20 million contract extension in February of 2010.
Bourque cleared waivers Monday, the Columbus Dispatch reports.
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Rene Bourque: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Rene Bourque.
Bourque had another season in which he confounded those hired to manage him. He alternates stretches of good, competitive hockey with disappearances. This inconsistency led to duty on the third line and healthy scratches. He finished with ten goals and eight assists in 63 games in the regular season. Once the post-season commenced, the aggressive Bourque appeared. He scored a team-high eight goals and took 51 shots in 17 playoff games. The trick for Montreal coach Michel Therrien is to coax out the aggressive Bourque for the long haul. If we see that side of him, he's a lock to play left wing on the second line with Tomas Plekanec.
Bourque went from likely buyout candidate to a top-6 stalwart early in the season before a concussion wiped out six weeks in the middle of the already shortened year. He finished with just 13 points in 27 games, but his biggest contributions came with his physical play, hard work at both ends of the ice, and an ability to draw penalties. It all earned him a promotion from the third line. With the Canadiens using both of their amnesty provisions (Scott Gomez, Tomas Kaberle), Bourque will be with the Canadiens to open the 2013-14 season. And while the club is happy with his efforts this past season, they would like to see a little more scoring pop from the winger.
The Canadiens acquired Bourque from Calgary in a mid-season exchange of bad contracts, but the Flames are better off entering 2012-13 with Michael Cammalleri than the Habs are with Bourque. In 38 games with Montreal, Bourque was a minus-16 with five goals and eight total points. With three years left on his deal, the Canadiens will have a hard time finding a taker for Bourque, so he'll be around to start the season. New head coach Michel Therrien would really like the two-time 27-goal scorer to take command of a wing spot on the second line, but Bourque could land as a third-line winger or worse. The Canadiens may owe him a lot, but Therrien owes him nothing. Coming off a season as sour as 2011-12 was for the franchise, the Canadiens don't have the luxury of waiting for Bourque to produce. Therrien won't hesitate to allot more minutes to a younger forward should Bourque struggle in the fall.
One might be surprised to learn that Calgary ranked seventh in the league with a team average of 2.94 goals per game last season. Bourque had a lot to do with it, as he triggered the lamp 27 times for the second consecutive season. Sometimes the undrafted winger endures long stretches without any points, but heath permitting, he's a good bet to fall in the neighborhood of 45-60 points by the time the season comes to a close.
Bourque has thrived with the full opportunities that Calgary has given him since acquiring him from the Blackhawks before the 2008-09 season, and he exploded for 58 points (including 27 goals) last season. The Flames demonstrated that they are committed to him by inking him to a six-year, $20 million extension before the trade deadline last season. The only negative is that Bourque isn't terribly effective on the power play, tallying just six power-play goals last year and none the season before that. Moreover, he won't spend much time on Jarome Iginla's line, assuming that Alex Tanguay skates with Iginla after the Flames re-signed him during the summer.
After putting up only 24 points in 62 games with Chicago in 2007-08, Bourque busted out with Calgary for 40 points, 21 goals and 70 penalty minutes in 58 games. Had an ankle injury not sidelined him toward the end of the season, 55 points would not have been out of the question. The 27-year-old appears to be getting better every season, and with a chance at skating with the likes of Olli Jokinen and Jarome Iginla this season, 60 points is certainly in the realm of possibility.
Bourque may have only had 24 points in 62 games last season, but he has a shot at slotting into one of the Flames' top two lines this season. With talented centers like Cammalleri and Daymond Langkow, Bourque could put up good numbers if he mans the wing for either one. This could be a breakout year for Bourque, and you should be able to grab him real late in the draft.
Bourque has shown touches of being that second or top goal scorer that the Hawks have been looking for. Last season, injuries saw his numbers and games cut in half. He’s changed jersey number from 14 to 12 so maybe that will give him new hope of having a big year. He could be a sleeper this season as a back of the end goal scorer on your team.
Bourque was one of the few pluses for the Hawks in 2005-06 with 16 goals and 18 assists in his rookie season. Needs to play more consistently in the NHL and might be hurt by the numerous changes on the Hawks in the off-season.
One of the best prospects for the Hawks. He was the rookie of the year last season for the AHL. He's a very good goal scorer, but the 2005-06 season will be only his second season in pro hockey so he is very inexperienced.