IHC Alumni Bio – Rene Bourque – Trials and Tribulations
By Jordan Laroche
Having played his minor Hockey career in Saskatchewan, Rene Bourque made the move to Alberta at 19 years old to play for the St. Albert Saints in the AJHL. After just one season in St. Albert, Bourque committed to the University of Wisconsin where he played for four years. His last year in the NCAA, Bourque was given the “C” to represent them as a captain, that year he had 16 goals, 20 assists for 36 points in 42 games.
After his last year at Wisconsin, Bourque was signed by the Chicago Blackhawks, but spent the 2004-2005 season with the team’s affiliate, the Norfolk Admirals. He had an impressive rookie campaign where he had 60 points in 75 games, along with 105 penalty minutes.
This caught the eye of the Blackhawks, and Bourque would start the 2005-2006 season in the NHL.
After three seasons in Chicago, Bourque was traded to the Calgary Flames in exchange for a second round pick. In the 2008-2009 season Bourque hit his stride with the Flames, and he set a personal season high in his second year with the Flames where he had 27 goals, 50 points in 80 games.
However, injuries during his first season with the Flames would plague his career, as for the next four seasons he struggled to play in more than 40 games in a single season.
Bourque would spend the rest of his NHL career bouncing between a few teams including the Montreal Canadiens, Anaheim Ducks, Colorado Avalanche and the Columbus Blue Jackets. But his last season of professional Hockey he played for Djurgardens IF in the Swedish Hockey League.
The same year he was chosen to represent Canada at the Olympics, and was recognized as an Assistant Captain on the team. Bourque had an impressive tournament where he had 4 points in 6 games and Canada would win the Bronze Medal that year.
Ray also traveled on the Ice Hockey Classic tours and was not only an amazing player but a tremendous ambassador for the game and our causes. Ray is always an incredible person, when Kerry Goulet’s sister was extremely sick in Kelowna, he went out of his way to visit her in the hospital and kept Kerry informed on her condition.