Ray Bourque’s son on becoming a Bruin: “A dream come true for me”

3 Comments

On Saturday, the Boston Bruins raised a few eyebrows by trading former first-round pick Zach Hamill to Washington in exchange for 26-year-old UFA with 33 games of NHL experience.

More eyebrows were raised upon learning who the 26-year-old UFA was — Chris Bourque, son of Bruins legend and Hockey Hall of Famer Ray Bourque.

Chris, who led the American League in scoring this season (27G-66A-93PTS), hasn’t played in the NHL since 2009-10 but is relishing the opportunity to play for the Bruins organization — and hopefully make the big club.

“It’s the first time I’ve been traded and to get traded to the Bruins was obviously a dream come true for me,” he told the New England Hockey Journal. “It’s where my dad spent most of his career. To be traded to the organization he played in so long, it’s an honor.”

Ray spent 21 of his 22 years in Boston and has his No. 77 hanging from The Garden rafters. He was shocked to hear his kid was joining the Bruins organization.

“I got to tell him the news,” Chris said. “He was obviously stunned. I didn’t really expect to get traded because I’m going to be a free agent soon. I didn’t know it was a possibility.

“Then, to get a call was shocking and to hear it was the Bruins was incredible. I think the whole family kind of feels that way.”

If Chris signs with the Bruins and manages to crack the lineup, the Bourques will join the likes of Harvey and Bill Bennett, Ron and John Grahame and Ken and Ken Hodge Jr. as father-son combos to play for Boston — a city Chris is extremely familiar with.

“I’m from Boston, I’ve lived here, I’ve grown up here and this is where I call home in the summers and, hopefully, in the near future,” he said. “It’s not really weird to get traded here. When I got the phone call and they told me I was going to Boston, I almost feel like it’s not really real. It feels like a dream. I’m very happy.”

Islanders agree to terms with Mathew Barzal on 8-year extension

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
0 Comments

Mathew Barzal has agreed to terms with the New York Islanders on an eight-year extension, a move that keeps the franchise’s top forward under contract for the balance of his prime.

The deal is worth $73.2 million with an annual salary cap hit of $9.15 million, according to a person with knowledge of the contract. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team did not announce terms.

Barzal has led the team in scoring, or been tied for the lead, every season since he became a full-time NHL player in 2017-18. He has 349 points in 411 regular-season and playoff games for the defensively stingy Islanders, who qualified for the postseason three consecutive times before an injury- and virus-altered last year.

“We feel recharged,” Barzal said recently. “We feel like everybody had good summers and worked hard, and we got that excitement back.”

Barzal, now 25, is coming off putting up 59 points in 75 games. The offensive star will now be asked to round out his game.

“I’m a fan because Mat has the ability to raise his game and to be a special player,” general manager Lou Lamoriello told reporters at the team’s practice facility on Long Island. “And now, with this contract and our faith in him, (it) puts that responsibility on him. We’re trusting that. It’s up to him to respond to that.”

Senators goaltender Cam Talbot out 5-7 weeks with injury

Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
0 Comments

OTTAWA, Ontario — Ottawa Senators goaltender Cam Talbot is expected to be out five to seven weeks with what the team called an upper-body injury.

The Senators initially called Talbot day to day with what they hoped was a minor injury. Instead he’s now expected to miss at least the first month of the NHL season.

Ottawa claimed goalie Magnus Hellberg off waivers from the Seattle Kraken upon announcing Talbot’s expected absence. Hellberg, who played for Sweden at the Beijing Olympics could split time with countryman Anton Forsberg while Talbot is out.

The Senators acquired Talbot from Minnesota during the offseason to make him their starter after the Wild opted against bringing him back along with Marc-Andre Fleury. Talbot, 35, had a 2.76 goals-against average and .911 save percentage this season.

Losing Talbot is a blow to the Senators, who also acquired winger Alex DeBrincat from Chicago and signed longtime Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux as part of a move toward contending and ending their playoff drought.

Blackhawks’ Boris Katchouk sidelined by ankle sprain

blackhawks
Harry How/Getty Images
13 Comments

CHICAGO — Blackhawks forward Boris Katchouk will be sidelined for four to six weeks with a left ankle sprain, the team announced.

The 24-year-old Katchouk played almost 12 minutes during a 3-0 preseason loss to Detroit on Saturday night. He was acquired in a multiplayer trade with Tampa Bay in March.

The Blackhawks open the season on Oct. 12 at Colorado.

The team also said forward Jujhar Khaira is day to day with a right ankle injury.

Ducks’ Urho Vaakanainen crashes into boards, leaves on stretcher

Getty Images
3 Comments

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Ducks defenseman Urho Vaakanainen was taken off the Honda Center ice on a stretcher after he crashed into the end boards in the first period of Anaheim’s preseason game against the San Jose Sharks.

The Finnish defenseman was conscious and alert with full movement in his extremities at UCI Medical Center, the Ducks said.

The frightening incident occurred midway through the opening period when Vaakanainen smashed into the boards at a dangerous speed behind the Sharks’ net. Vaakanainen appeared to be concentrating on the pass he had just made to Derek Grant, who scored the Ducks’ opening goal on the assist.

Vaakanainen’s teammates came onto the ice and gathered around him as he was taken away on the stretcher.

The Ducks acquired the 23-year-old Vaakanainen from Boston last March in the deal that sent longtime Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm to the Bruins. After recording two assists in 14 games for the Ducks last season, Vaakanainen is attempting to win a top-six role on Anaheim’s defense this fall.