The last time they had a Bourque on the team, things ended extremely well for the Colorado Avalanche. This season, they will begin the season with two.
On Monday, the Avalanche announced that they had signed forwards Gabriel and Rene Bourque each to a one-year contract. Though the financial terms of the deals were not disclosed by the team, Rene’s is reportedly a one-way with a cap hit of $650,000. Gabriel’s is a two-way deal, that will reportedly pay him $800,000 at the NHL level and $200,000 is he’s in the AHL; a move deemed necessary because of the Avs’ salary cap situation. As such, he willl have to clear waivers before joining the team.
“They told me I did a good job in camp, they want me on the team,” said Gabriel Bourque. “There’s still a little paperwork to do, go through waivers and everything will be fine after that. Hopefully nobody picks me up so I can play here this year.”
Both Bourques had been with the Avalanche throughout the preseason, attending training camp on professional tryouts.
Aside from Mikhail Grigorenko, Rene Bourque was perhaps the Avalanche’s best performing forward throughout the preseason, which saw the Avalanche go undefeated. The 34-year-old showed physicality, speed and a scoring touch, tying for the team lead in preseason points, with four in five games.
In a disappointing campaign with the Columbus Blue Jackets last season, Rene Bourque scored three goals and eight points in 49 games. In 660 career regular season games with the Blue Jackets, Anaheim Ducks, Montreal Canadiens, Calgary Flames (where he was a teammate of Jarome Iginla’s) and Chicago Blackhawks, he has scored 151 goals and 298 points, adding 15 points in 27 playoff contests.
Injuries limited Gabriel Bourque to 22 games with the Nashville Predators last season, during which he scored one goal and four points. In 242 career NHL contests, the 26-year-old has scored 31 goals and 78 points. He became an unrestricted free agent this summer after not receiving a qualifying offer from the Predators.
It may behoove players agreeing to PTOs to consider the Avalanche in the future, as the team is developing a reputation for giving people a fair shot on such agreements in recent years. Last season, forward Jack Skille made the roster, signing a contract after impressing during his tryout.
The Avalanche have also waived forward Mike Sislo.