Tag: Raymond Bourque

Nashville Predators v Washington Capitals

Capitals trade Chris Bourque to Boston for Zach Hamill


Chris Bourque’s long, strange trip just got a bit more odd.

Bourque was traded by the Washington Capitals to the Boston Bruins for prospect Zach Hamill sending Bourque, the AHL’s top scorer this season, to the city his father Raymond carved out his Hall-Of-Fame career in.

Bourque had 27 goals and 66 assists, good for 93 points, with the Hershey Bears but lost out on league MVP honors to Lightning prospect Cory Conacher. Bourque spent the majority of his career in the Capitals organization but also got a 20-game spin with the Pittsburgh Penguins. In 33 career NHL games Bourque scored one goal and three assists.

Bourque, 26, may not even see time in Boston (or Providence in the AHL) as he’ll be an unrestricted free agent this summer. Maybe he won’t need to deal with dad’s shadow directly after all. It’s doubtful that the Bruins will let him walk, however.

Hamill was at one point a top prospect in the Bruins organization but has since fallen on their depth chart. Hamill finished this past season with just eight goals and 13 assists in 41 games in Providence. He’ll be a restricted free agent this summer.

Ray Bourque couldn’t blame Jarome Iginla if he wanted out for a Cup run

Jarome Iginla

Jarome Iginla will forever be known as the face of the Calgary Flames. He’s the team captain and unquestioned leader of the team and whether the team has done well or not, he’ll be the heart and soul of the Flames.

However, with how things are set up in Calgary and how the team is always on the edge of being blown up to start over, could Iginla’s days of trying to win a Stanley Cup for Calgary be over with before he has a shot to get it done? It’s a distinct possibility and because of it, Iginla could be put in the same position that Ray Bourque was put in back in 2000.

Bourque told Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun about what it was like to be put in that spot and how tough it was for him and how tough it’ll be on Iginla to potentially do the same. It’s a decision he ended up having no regrets over.

“The reason I left was because it wasn’t a healthy situation at all. It was time. In some ways, I don’t think it was a fair situation to be in after all those years. I was 38 years old, and I was affected mentally by the situation, and I needed to get into a better situation if I was going to continue playing. I wanted to get back into the playoffs and compete for a Cup, but that wasn’t going to happen in Boston and hadn’t happened for quite awhile.”

Sound familiar? It could be the exact kind of situation Iginla has to face up to in Calgary. It’s similar to what could happen with Daniel Alfredsson in Ottawa as well. Iginla is just 34 years-old, but with the likelihood that the team and GM Jay Feaster will have to blow it all up lingering, other teams might be wise to bug Calgary about what it would take to get Iginla out of Calgary for a shot at a Cup.

Best and worst sweaters of all-time: Boston Bruins

Raymond Bourque, Cam Neely

That’s right, our fun summer project takes over this week and I’m giving you my thoughts on the best and worst sweaters of all time on a team by team basis. I’ll thank Craig Calcaterra at Hardball Talk for giving me the idea on how to help kill time as he did the same thing there, but with the rich history of great and awful sweaters out there we’ve got a lot of fun to have.

There’s no rhyme nor reason to how the teams come out, so be patient if you’re waiting to see one particular team. To get things started, the latest Stanley Cup champions get the honors.

Best: You’re going to find that a lot of my favorites lean heavily on the 1980s and 1990s and that’s the case with the Bruins. Their jerseys from the mid-1970s until 1995 are a simple thing of beauty. The home white and road black with the spoked “B” as well as a menacing bruin head on the shoulders capped off by a neatly numbered and lettered jersey gave the Bruins an easy-on-the-eyes iconic look. No need for flash and dash with the Bruins of that age, just classic elegance.

Worst: Every great era in uniform history is usually followed up by some God-awful mistake and the Bruins pulled that off in horrible, legendary fashion from 1995-2004. A bright gold third jersey with a bruins head as the centerpiece that wasn’t so much ferocious or intimidating as it was emo and cuddly. Vomit, vomit, vomit. The jagged edges on the bottom of the jersey and on the sleeves and collar with the “Bruins” block wordmark on the shoulders offered nothing but indifference in its awfulness.

It was all over when people referred to that Bruins third as the “Winnie The Pooh jersey.” To make matters worse, the Bruins played like Pooh with his head stuck in a honey jar and even had the gall to make Cam Neely and Ray Bourque wear that in their time in Boston.

Old-timey favorite: Let’s throw it back to 1934. The Bruins change from brown and gold to black and gold saw them with same colored stripes on the sleeves and a big, block letter “B” on the front. It’s a look that worked so well for the Bruins that they would wear these throwbacks back during the NHL’s 75th anniversary season in 1991-1992. The Bruins always did better doing things simply and this one is a true beauty.

Assessment: Their modern jerseys are nice. They’re a nod to the past with enough going on to make them current. Their third jersey leaves a lot to be desired and look more like a pajama set with the lack of striping, but the use of a logo that resembles the franchise’s original one is a great touch. It’d be fun to see them do something more with gold though and perhaps swapping out their current thirds for what they used in the 2010 Winter Classic would be a more fun move. Getting gold right is tough for a jersey, but that Winter Classic throwback-like jersey did it great.

Five Thoughts: The tables have turned… For now

Vancouver Canucks v Boston Bruins - Game Four

After four games of the Stanley Cup finals we’re right back to where we started from. The series is locked up at 2-2 and now it’s a best of three race to the end. While the Bruins have smacked the Canucks around in the last two games, everyone’s done their part to protect home ice. Still, if momentum is a real thing the Bruins have all of it and then some. As for our thoughts after what turned out to be yet another wild game, there’s enough to pick at.

1. As you might expect, Roberto Luongo wasn’t a happy guy after the game. When you give up 12 goals in two games while your team is outscored 12-1, everyone should be pretty upset about things. For Luongo, he could be hammering away at his teammates on defense but he’s held off on tossing them under the bus. While Luongo isn’t the right guy to light a fire under the defense, someone should.

With an injury to Dan Hamhuis and Aaron Rome getting himself booted from the playoffs, the Canucks are working with guys Alain Vigneault would rather not have out there like Keith Ballard. Ballard had a brutal night but he’s not alone. Andrew Alberts has struggled out there and while he’s been paired up with Sami Salo, there seems to be very little in the way of communication out there between those two and some of the same mistakes kept happening in Games 3 and 4. It’s not as if Vancouver hasn’t dealt with changing defensive situations thanks to injury, they should be better prepared for such upheaval.

2. One reason why teams can win on home ice better is because they get to work the matchups the way they want to thanks to getting the last change at home. Vancouver was able to mix things up at home to tweak some of the Boston defense pairings. Remember when Johnny Boychuk was the unofficial team goat in the first two games?

The games played in Boston showed that either Claude Julien is a brilliant coach to get the matchups he’s looking for or Alain Vigneault isn’t properly doing the things he has to to minimize the mismatches that will happen. Julien did his part in Vancouver by constantly tinkering with his defensemen on faceoffs. It might start off awkward, but once the puck is dropped, the usual pairings get reset thanks to a quick change. That simple move helped keep the games in Vancouver close. The Canucks kept trying to force the issue themselves and with their defense already in disarray… Well you saw the scores.

3. Brad Marchand starting to remind everyone of another diminutive forward that mixed it up with anyone and everyone regardless of the situation. There’s a lot of Pat Verbeek in what Marchand does out on the ice and that kind of sandpaper game and skill set is something every team loves to have. Perhaps the best part of what Marchand does is that he’s able to do all of his annoying either with his words (just watch how players react to him after the whistle, I’d love to have him mic’ed up for a game but it’d likely be R-rated) or his little agitation moves.

Verbeek was known as “the little ball of hate” and we’re pretty sure if you asked anyone on Vancouver they’d say some colorful things about Marchand to back up a similar moniker for him. His play in the playoffs has been something special though as his ability to score goals and be a tremendous penalty killer have been inspiring and the Bruins have really needed that badly over time.

4. Vancouver’s got some soul searching to do and a couple of guys that could use some ethereal guidance are Ryan Kesler and Alex Burrows. These two showed how great they can be earlier in the playoffs but lately against Boston they’ve gone back to old habits of falling for the petty nonsense and getting mixed up with the ancillary games that lead to nothing but trouble. If they can cut back on that stuff and go back to playing with that right mix of jerky play and high-end hockey skill the Canucks will be better off for it.

5. Ready for a fun coincidence? Before Game 3 the Bruins had Cam Neely start things off as the honorary captain to get the fans all worked up into a lather before the game started. The Bruins did right by #8 by scoring eight goals on Vancouver. Before Game 4 it was all about #4 Bobby Orr as he was the honorary captain of the night. The Bruins then shut down Vancouver by scoring four goals in beating the Canucks. Eight goals for #8 and four goals for #4.

I wonder if the Bruins want to test fate and get Raymond Bourque to do the honors before Game 6. Scoring seven or 77 goals (both numbers worn by Bourque as a Bruin) would be something else. They could just try to nail down the seven by getting both Bourque and Phil Esposito to do the honors as Esposito’s #7 is retired by Boston while Bourque’s #77 also hangs from the rafters.

Comparing the 2010-11 Boston Bruins to the 1989-90 version


Much like the Vancouver Canucks (last seen this late in the game in 1994), the Boston Bruins have been waiting a long time for another crack at the Stanley Cup finals. They last made it to the game’s grandest stage in 1990, when the post-Gretzky Edmonton Oilers dispatched them in five games.

Let’s take a look at how this year’s Bruins compare to the Ray Bourque-fueled team from 21 years ago, shall we?

The 1989-90 Boston Bruins at a glance

Record: 46-25-9 (first in Adams division); Goals For: 289 (11th of 21 teams); Goals Against: 232 (1st of 21); PP %: 23.58 (league average: 20.77); PK %: 83.23 (league average: 79.23)

The 2010-11 Boston Bruins at a glance

Record: 46-25-11 (first in Northeast division); Goals For: 246 (8th of 30 teams); Goals Against: 195 (3rd of 30); PP %: 16.17 (league average: 18.02); PK %: 82.64 (league average: 81.98)

From a big picture standpoint, these teams have some interesting similarities – they even earned 46 wins and went 25 games without a point in defeat. (You may recall that the 89-90 Bruins played in the pre-charity point era.) The earlier Bruins squad was even stronger than the current one, winning the 89-90 Presidents Trophy and losing just four games in the three rounds before that Stanley Cup finals series. Obviously, certain statistics are skewed by different eras, but both teams produced similar goal differentials. (89-90 earned a +57 mark, 10-11 earned a +51 one.) In other words, these teams weren’t Cinderella stories.

’89-90 top scorers (offense)

Cam Neely – 92 points (28 in playoffs)
Craig Janney – 62 points (22 in playoffs)
Bob Carpenter – 56 points (10 in playoffs)

’10-11 top scorers (offense)

David Krejci – 62 points (17 in playoffs)
Milan Lucic – 62 points (9 in playoffs)
Patrice Bergeron – 57 points (15 in playoffs)
Nathan Horton – 53 points (17 in playoffs)

As you can see, the 89-90 Bruins forward corps leaned heavily on the play of star power forward Cam Neely. There’s a serious drop-off from Neely to Janney (then again, he wasn’t the team’s real No. 2 scorer, who will get to in a second) while the current Bruins score by committee. Comparing the teams relative to their peers shows that the current Bruins might have had a stronger offense, in some ways. Lucic has a long way to go before he reaches Neely’s level, though.

’89-90 scorers among defensemen

Raymond Bourque – 84 points (17 in playoffs)
Greg Hawgwood – 38 points (4 in playoffs)
Glen Wesley – 36 points (8 in playoffs)
Garry Galley – 35 points (6 in playoffs)

’10-11 scorers among defensemen

Zdeno Chara – 44 points (5 in playoffs)
Dennis Seidenberg – 32 points (8 in playoffs)
Note: Tomas Kaberle had eight points while Andrew Ference had seven in the playoffs.

Both Bruins teams featured one blueliner who stood out among the rest (most literally in the case of Chara because he’s really tall and such). Bourque received the Norris Trophy for that season while Chara is one of the three finalists for the 2010-11 season. Each squad was strong at holding teams off the scoreboard, with the 89-90 Bruins allowing the least amount of goals and the current model coming in third place in their regular seasons. Team defense seems to be the biggest similarity between the two teams.

’89-90 top goalie

Andy Moog

Regular season: 24-10-7, 2.89 GAA and 89.3 save pct.; Playoffs: 13-7, 2.21 GAA and 90.9 save pct.

’10-11 top goalie

Tim Thomas

Regular season: 35-11-9, 2 GAA and 93.8 save pct; Playoffs: 12-6, 2.29 GAA and 92.9 save pct.

During the regular season, Moog (46 games played) was in a rotation with Reggie Lemelin (43 games played). He clearly took over during the playoffs, though, putting up what was then a sterling 90.9 save percentage. In some quarters, Thomas went into the season as an expected backup to Tuukka Rask but he quickly regained his Vezina Trophy form.

Moog was a good-to-strong goalie in his NHL career, but he never won a Vezina. Thomas is the odds-on favorite to take that trophy, which would mark the second time he would earn that award. If the current Bruins are significantly stronger than the older version in one area, it’s definitely in net.


Unlike the wildly different current Canucks vs. ’94 edition, the modern Bruins share a lot of similarities to the ’89-90 team. They both won their divisions, produced strong goal differentials and employed Norris Trophy defensemen. The ’90 version’s offense relied upon Neely and Bourque while the current team spreads its scoring over a couple lines, though.

My guess is that the Bruins might face a similar fate as their predecessors, possibly even down to the 4-1 series score. That’s just my opinion, though. Feel free to share your opinion on how the 2011 Stanley Cup finals will shake out by voting in this poll.