Eager to Make His Own Name
Chris Bourque is trying to carve out his own niche in New England
BostonBruins.com — When Bruins fans see the Bourque named stitched between the shoulders of a Black & Gold jersey, it conjures up memories of the great Ray Bourque, a Hockey Hall of Fame defenseman who spent 20-plus seasons with the B’s, amassed 395 goals, and whose number 77 flies from from the rafters of TD Garden.
Now, a new Bourque is trying to carve out his own niche in New England.
Ray's son, Chris Bourque, was traded to Boston from the Washington Capitals organization after the 2012 season and will begin training camp with the Providence Bruins September 28.
Chris, who has made several AHL and NHL stops during his eight year professional career (and who also played for Cushing Academy in Ashburnham, and Boston University), is working to write his own Black & Gold story.
“I’m not coming in here trying to be Ray Bourque,” Chris said after skating informally in Wilmington earlier this month. “There aren’t too many people that can live up to that name, and I’m proud to have the last name on my back, but by no means am I trying to be my dad here.”
Instead, the 5-foot-8, 180 pound forward, who signed a two-way contract with Boston over the summer, talked about his own energetic game, getting into corners, fighting for loose pucks, and throwing his “little body around.”
In short, all characteristics that could endear him to the Bruins faithful in either the Dunkin' Donuts Center or TD Garden.
“I think we’re two totally different players and I try to bring my only little good things that I can bring to the table, and help out the team any way I can,” said Chris. “Obviously there’s going to be a little bit of pressure, but it’s something that I’ve dealt with in the past.”
For now, the younger Bourque said he is working hard to make sure he’s ready for what the NHL has to offer. After spending all of last season playing for the American Hockey League's Hersehy Bears, Chris knows the NHL game is quite different.
“It’s a little bit faster up here than in the AHL, and guys are a little bit bigger,” said Bourque. “So I’m trying to get my body bigger, stronger, and you know just trying to make that jump like you said.”
But while Chris may have described the game of a grinder in what he hopes to contribute, he has also shown the ability to score at the AHL level.
From 2006-2012, Chris registered five consecutive seasons of 21 goals or more. Last season with Hershey, he registered 93 points, a career high.
As Bourque finished up practice and exited the ice, the looked around the rink he used to play on as a kid.
“I haven’t been back here in 15 years, but it pretty much looks the same,” Bourque said of the B's facility in Wilmington. “It’s definitely a lot different here coming in and challenging for a spot than coming here skating as a young kid.”