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Rene Bourque


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Not surprised. Leaves us weak on the wings but maybe they believe somebody from the Dogs will is a better option. From what he's given us so far this year, it wouldn't take much. Those long dry spells of his are hard to stomach.

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Well. I'm surprised we weren't able to trade him after the post-season he had. I couldn't help but think he would immediately revert back to streaky Bourque when the regular season started... I guess other general managers realized the same thing. Hopefully he's claimed by another NHL team so we don't have to pay that salary while he's riding the bus to/from Hamilton.

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That would be ideal. Maybe he goes to the Dogs and gets a taste of riding the bus and lights it up down there turning his career around. Then again,,,,maybe not.

Extremely happy about putting him on waivers; started the season snake bitten but at least he tried, now he was good old lazy heartless Bourque. Hopefully this sends a message to him and goes back to being playoff Bourque to wherever he ends up.

Bourque is Bourque. Any improvement in play because of a demotion will probably only be short-lived. It's not that I don't believe people can't change, but it seems more probable that Bourque's effort level and skill won't change rather than that it will change because of a stop in the minors. I'm expecting he will be claimed anyway. He can be useful to another team, I think.

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I'm surprised they weren't able to trade him. There really should be teams willing to give him a shot. We'll see if he gets picked up

I'm not. The Habs traded for him to give him a shot but he never took advantage of it. Other teams will see the way he plays/doesn't play and pass on him. Heck, other teams would be wise to give a youngster who is hungry to play for a shot at the NHL.

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I'm surprised they weren't able to trade him. There really should be teams willing to give him a shot. We'll see if he gets picked up

Im actually surprised too - not that I thought anyone would give up value for him, but you'd think a 6th or 7th rounder would have been doable. Then again maybe MB and co. think he's more valuable in Hamilton than a 7th rounder. It will be interesting to see if he's picked up.

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Well. I'm surprised we weren't able to trade him after the post-season he had. I couldn't help but think he would immediately revert back to streaky Bourque when the regular season started... I guess other general managers realized the same thing. Hopefully he's claimed by another NHL team so we don't have to pay that salary while he's riding the bus to/from Hamilton.

Honestly, i would have thought MB would have lit up the phone lines trying to move him this summer - but then maybe he did & the offers werent good enough or maybe, as you said, other GMs thought it wasnt worth the risk/effort.

I have to think his value was high enough after the playoffs to at least get a mid rounder or prospect for, but then had we done that and he had started strong it would have been seen as a disaster. Now, we can look at it like "well, we tried."

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Im actually surprised too - not that I thought anyone would give up value for him, but you'd think a 6th or 7th rounder would have been doable. Then again maybe MB and co. think he's more valuable in Hamilton than a 7th rounder. It will be interesting to see if he's picked up.

Seeing as a large portion of his salary will remain on our cap while he's in Hamilton it's hard to imagine Bergevin thinking he's more valuable down there than anyone taking him for free. Also, if a team WAS willing to give a 7th rounder for him in the first place, wouldn't Bergevin know beyond a doubt that they'd take him for free on waivers anyway?

It's not hard to envision no one wanting him unless we were taking on one of their unwanted contracts back. Sucks for Bourque, seems like a good dude but other than the odd stretch of competence (including a very strong run last playoffs) he's mostly played at an AHL level for us.

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I think Bourque's been relatively unlucky with his results this year. To me, he's been trying hard and he's hit a few posts, missed a few nets by an inch or two, and so on. But his overall play is probably not that much different than what he was giving in Calgary. If you look back, Bourque had 3 straight 20+ goal seasons, and then scored a total of 18 goals in 76 games between Calgary and Montreal the first year we acquired him. Following that, he potted 7 in 27 games in the lockout season (20+ goal pace over a full year). Last year was really the first year his production dropped off (9 goals in 63 games), but I think that has to be mitigated by the following factors:

1. He went from playing with Jarome Iginla in his prime to playing with a variety of linemates with less offensive skill and having those change frequently.

2. He basically stopped getting any considerable amount of PP time. If you look at his two 27-goal campaigns, he had 6 PP goals and 13-15 PP points in those seasons. Comparatively, he had just 3 last season with much less opportunity in that role.

3. His ice time was cut significantly. His average TOI in Calgary was in the range of 17-18 minutes, whereas it was 16 and 14 the past two years and now 12 this year, playing on what was essentially Michel Therrien's doghouse third-line.

4. Bourque's shooting percentage was incredibly low last year (and this one!). From a career average of 10-11% (and 12-14% in Calgary), he's been shooting at 7.5%, 11.1%, 7.6% and 0% in his four stints with Montreal. That's a fairly sizeable dropoff and probably indicates that the change in scoring output has as much to do with bad puck luck than a drop in the number of shot attempts or chances... just on gestalt, how many chances have we seen Bourque come close to scoring on but get robbed or just miss. This is something that usually corrects itself over time, not a sign of a player whose play has dropped off.

In any case, as was said, it seems strange for the Habs to believe they are better off with Bourque in Hamilton, where he doesn't save much in terms of salary. If someone claims him and you use up the saved cap space, then yes, that makes sense, because it means you were disposing of Bourque to move in another asset. But to simply refuse to play him in the NHL but still keep his cap hit means you think the next guy up (Moen? Prust? Weise?) is bringing more to the table on the 3rd line and I find that hard to believe.

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Numbers game? It could still be in preparation for a trade perhaps. A team may be willing to take on his salary and cap hit but not be willing to simply take back a portion of another player's salary/cap hit. This then would would allow the Habs to acquire that other player.

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i read on another fan site that he had a falling out with therrien and requested a trade over the summer. him being waived to me says he was an attitude problem and maybe a negative influence in the room.

I don't know if i would buy into that rumour jeff. He played his best hockey in the playoffs last year. Things were going pretty nicely for him at that point. That timeline just doesn't make sense to me. I can see that happening recently with his benching though.

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Best to ignore rumours about attitude ... not fair to anyone.

Who knows what the endgame is here, but obviously Habs were willing to part with Bourque if someone would pick up his salary.

If Bourque passes waivers he does not need to be sent to Hamilton. The Habs can keep him around. Sending Courque to Hamilton only saves $900K on the cap.

I was in the Bell Centre when he scored that hat trick against the Rangers in the play-offs last year ... it was sight to see I tell you. At elast two of them did loud iron on the way in. It was a pro demonstration on sniping in a big, must-win game.

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I'm not torn up about Borque being sent down, but I'm not loving the idea either. I think that we can assume that Sekac is going to stay with the team at this point, and also that Galchenyuk will be on the wing for the forseeable furture. Even with those two as givens, however, with Bournival out our top-nine wingers are:

Patches, PAP, Gallagher, Galchenyuk, Sekac... ???

We're a deep team at centre right now, but losing Bourque puts our top nine a man short. Sure we've got Weisse, Moen or Prust, but I think that all of those guys are better off rotating in and out of the fourth line at this point. Spot duty on the top three lines is fine, but I'd rather put them there temporarily (e.g. if we sit Bourque for a game or something) rather than say that they're a permanent fixture. Things will clear up a bit when Bournival comes back, but when will that be (and how long before someone else gets injured)?

Now if they bring up another winger from Hamilton who has the potential to develop into a top-nine player then I'm on board. I think that Bourque is being underrated and that he's been more unlucky than anything else, but it's not like he's been lighting the world on fire and I'd be okay with using his spot for player development. But if we're sending him down to Hamilton just so that our fourth liners can get more time on our third line then I really don't see the point.

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Best to ignore rumours about attitude ... not fair to anyone.

Who knows what the endgame is here, but obviously Habs were willing to part with Bourque if someone would pick up his salary.

If Bourque passes waivers he does not need to be sent to Hamilton. The Habs can keep him around. Sending Courque to Hamilton only saves $900K on the cap.

I was in the Bell Centre when he scored that hat trick against the Rangers in the play-offs last year ... it was sight to see I tell you. At elast two of them did loud iron on the way in. It was a pro demonstration on sniping in a big, must-win game.

I agree about the rumours - there's really no way of knowing who has a beef with who beyond somebody coming straight out and saying it. You can look at evidence to a certain extent (i.e. benchings, scratches) but it's tough to speculate on the reasons behind that.

And as you mention here, unlike in the 'old' days it's not like we're saving any money. Sure we might get 900K in savings, but that will almost certainly be offset by whoever we bring up as a replacement.

So yes, I'm also waiting to see what the end-game is. Like I said, if they use his spot for player development or something I'm okay with it. Likewise, if they don't actually send him to Hamilton I'd be okay with that, too (they might have been trying to clear his contract for cap reasons). But I don't fully grasp the logic of sending him to the 'Dogs just because.

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I'm not torn up about Borque being sent down, but I'm not loving the idea either. I think that we can assume that Sekac is going to stay with the team at this point, and also that Galchenyuk will be on the wing for the forseeable furture. Even with those two as givens, however, with Bournival out our top-nine wingers are:

Patches, PAP, Gallagher, Galchenyuk, Sekac... ???

We're a deep team at centre right now, but losing Bourque puts our top nine a man short. Sure we've got Weisse, Moen or Prust, but I think that all of those guys are better off rotating in and out of the fourth line at this point. Spot duty on the top three lines is fine, but I'd rather put them there temporarily (e.g. if we sit Bourque for a game or something) rather than say that they're a permanent fixture. Things will clear up a bit when Bournival comes back, but when will that be (and how long before someone else gets injured)?

Now if they bring up another winger from Hamilton who has the potential to develop into a top-nine player then I'm on board. I think that Bourque is being underrated and that he's been more unlucky than anything else, but it's not like he's been lighting the world on fire and I'd be okay with using his spot for player development. But if we're sending him down to Hamilton just so that our fourth liners can get more time on our third line then I really don't see the point.

This. Imho Bourque in our top 9 is not a problem by any stretch (certainly if you're not replacing him with a better player). The problem is how our top 9 is being played.

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Not really a savings if we bring up another player from Hamilton in his spot. I also think that 900K savings is pro rated according to games already played,,,, so you can pretty much reduce that by 1/4 at this point.

I don't see this so much as a cap move as it would be sending a message.

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Not really a savings if we bring up another player from Hamilton in his spot. I also think that 900K savings is pro rated according to games already played,,,, so you can pretty much reduce that by 1/4 at this point.

I don't see this so much as a cap move as it would be sending a message.

It's not a cap move as much as a roster move. Also some speculation that maybe it's Bergevin taking MT's toys away from him (although I highly doubt that's true.)

The reality is that Sekac and Bournival are both very clearly better players, and Moen is probably a better option on the 4th line and on the PK. He just can't cut it at the NHL level for a team that wants to make some noise in the playoffs.

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It's not a cap move as much as a roster move. Also some speculation that maybe it's Bergevin taking MT's toys away from him (although I highly doubt that's true.)

The reality is that Sekac and Bournival are both very clearly better players, and Moen is probably a better option on the 4th line and on the PK. He just can't cut it at the NHL level for a team that wants to make some noise in the playoffs.

I would agree. It's strange that he's moved him with Bourny out though. Maybe his injury is not as bad as speculated.

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I was skeptical of the move to put him on waivers, and it looks like MB may have gone from a bad situation with Bourque to worse.

We can send him down, but it won't save anything significant and we have cap space already.

We could have traded him and retained some salary, but there is at this point a 0.0000001% chance he gets traded in the next year and a half.

Can we buy him out mid-season? That might be the best move if MB wants him gone, but I honestly think this team is better off with Bourque than without him (as a depth player like Moen), and like I said we aren't crunched by the cap, so what's the point?

I honestly don't think he was that bad, but I suppose that's what happens when you go on a hot streak during the playoffs in the middle of your decline. If he had 3 or 4 goals playing with Eller, would things be different? The narrative while they were together was that Eller was snakebitten and Bourque was apathetic, but I have seen no tangible evidence that was the case.

At the end of the day though, if Bourque is a difference between us winning and losing games, we've got bigger issues to deal with anyway.

I would agree. It's strange that he's moved him with Bourny out though. Maybe his injury is not as bad as speculated.

Somebody (maybe DLR, Bowman, or Andrighetto) showing lots of promise in Hamilton maybe?

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