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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Montreal Canadiens Offseason Player Profile: Rene Bourque

Bourque Looking to Rebound In First Full Season With Habs

Rene Bourque - RW
6'2" 211 lbs
2011-12 Stats 76GP- 18G- 6A- 24 Pts

The Price

Bourque is heading into the third year of a six year contract which has an average cap hit of $3.33 million. Naturally, that may seem like a high price to pay for a forward who lacked in production last season and finished with a -24 rating.

However, 2011-12 was Bourque's worst season production wise since 2007-08, when he accumulated 24 points with the Chicago Blackhawks. Since then Bourque has scored 83 goals and put up 164 points in 287 games.

If Bourque can regain his scoring touch and have a 50+ point season similar to his previous two campaigns then he may live up to his cost.

Performance

His eight points and -16 rating in his 38 games with the Canadiens last season was definitely a disappointment.

To be fair, there were not many players who didn't under perform last year and 2012-13 will be a test to his worth with the club.

The Fit

With the success of the Pacioretty-Desharnais-Cole line last season Bourque will likely start on the second line with Plekanec and Gionta. A natural right winger, Bourque will need to adapt to the left side of the ice as Gionta will return to the right wing.

If coach Michel Therrien can get Bouque to use his size and play more physically then he should be able to produce, thus earning him some time on the second powerplay unit. With his build, Bourque has the potential to stir up traffic in front of the opposition's goal and bang in some blue collar goals.

Until Bourque can provide some offense he will continue to be a scapegoat for the team's struggles. Will having Gionta return to the line up help boost his numbers? Or would Bourque fit more on the thrd line with Lars Eller, playing on his natural right side?


Check out other player profiles:

Ryan White
Travis Moen
Brandon Prust
Colby Armstrong
Carey Price
Lars Eller
Francis Bouillon
Tomas Plekanec
Raphael Diaz
David Desharnais


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Sean is a freelance writer currently contributing to HabsAddict.com. He is also a regular blogger and frequent panelist on the Habs post game show at MontrealHockeyTalk.com You can follow Sean on Twitter.


(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America)

6 comments:

@Sean

My personal beleife is that if Therrien insists on Bourque remaining on the oeft side then he will struggle.

I see Bourque much the same as Cole.

When Cole signed with Edmonton, they insisted he play on the left side and he struggled mightily. I see the same future for Bourque.

Personally I hope they acquire a LWer to allow Bourque to go back to his natural position,even if it is the 3rd line

@Bryan

Fair enough, playing his off wing can be uncomfortable for him. But, given his tepid performance last season, my main concern is more with Bourque being involved than anything else.

If borque gives up on plays like he did last year. It won't matter what position he is playing. The guy played to 50% of potential on good nights. Frustrates me watching a guy who just goes out there and skates in a circle.
He's proven he can bury the puck. Just needs the drive.

I wouldn't call Bourque the scapegoat right now. The real scapegoat (and deserving) is Scott Gomez. 8 million for...what exactly?

Really don't see Bourque being an issue at all. For the past 4 seasons (minus his time in MTL) he either scored or was on pace for 27-29 goals a season.

last season he came to Montreal. A new envioronment, without his family, on a disfunctional team with piss poor management and asked him to play a position he doesn't play.

Then we are shocked when he doesn't perform?

Bourque is never going to be a power forward who drives bodies throw the glass, who drops the gloves and is a beast on the ice.

What he is though is a great depth forward who plays on both ends of the ice, doesn't cost you many goals and still scores in the 25-30 range on a yearly basis.

He's the ideal 3rd line RWer.

Borque has been known to be an ass dragger. You're right that he is never going to be the meanest guy out there. But he was brought to be a big body that can drive the net hard. On the flip though. I do see him turning things around this year. The main reason for that being; our new coaching staff. This team is going to be alot grittier.. Each and every player will be going hard every shift and finishing their checks.
Borque might just find himself on the score sheet if he can fit into this caliber of play.

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