I’m not going to lie, this one took me by surprise. I clearly remember Rene’s time in Calgary and really enjoyed watching him play. He certainly seemed like one of those players that could take off at any minute and be the next “big thing.” I liked him so much so that I had his jersey in my online shopping cart, but never pulled the trigger. Good thing too because he was traded a month later. I thought for sure it would be Jiri Hrdina in this spot because he was part of the ‘89 Cup team, but that doesn’t always mean everything. Hrdina really didn’t have any impact on that team and his numbers aren’t even close to what Bourque put up in Calgary. So, Rene Bourque, I owe you an apology.
Rene Bourque would go undrafted, sign with the Chicago Blackhawks and play three mediocre seasons with them before putting his mark on the NHL in Calgary. The Alberta native would be traded to Calgary prior to the 2008 season and play four seasons with the Flames. Over that time frame Bourque would play in 249 games, while scoring 88 goals and collecting 76 assists. His back to back 50 point seasons were the best of his career, though his best playoff years came in Montreal as he only saw five post season games while with the Flames. His best season in Calgary would come in 2010-11 where he would score 27 goals and finished second on the team behind Jarome Iginla. He also left his mark on that season by scoring two goals in the Heritage Classic during a Flames 4-0 win over the Montreal Canadiens during a game played outdoors in sub zero temperatures.
After signing a multi year contract with the Flames in 2010, but things started to go downhill for Bourque. He was suspended twice, once in December 2011 and once in January 2012 for illegal hits and after his January suspension the Flames had enough. Bourque was traded to the Montreal Canadiens at the trade deadline for Michael Cammalleri and Karri Ramo and his career would never be the same.
After the trade, Bourque would play in 293 more games over parts of eight seasons with the Canadiens, Anaheim Ducks, Columbus Blue Jackets and Colorado Avalanche. He’d have great playoff success in two runs with Montreal, but the rest of his career fell apart. Injuries and inconsistent play marred the rest of his NHL life and he would last play with Djurgårdens IF of the Swedish Hockey League in 2017-18.
Other Players Having Worn #17 In Flames History
John Stewart (1973-74), Hilliard Graves (1975-77), Don Laurence (1979), Rick Adduono (1980), Garry Unger (1980), Jamie Hislop (1981-84), Mike Eaves (1986), Jiri Hrdina (1988-91) Marc Habscheid (1992), Wes Walz (1994-95), Bob Sweeney (1996), Todd Hlushko (1996), Hnat Domenichelli (1997-2000), Jason Botterill (2000), Sergei Krivokrasov (2000), Chris Clark (2000-04), Chris Simon (2006), Eric Godard (2007-08), Blake Comeau (2013), Lance Bouma (2014-17), Milan Lucic (2020)
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