May 1, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; Montreal Canadiens left wing Rene Bourque (17) shoots the puck towards Boston Bruins defenseman Kevan Miller (86) during the first period in game one of the second round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Banknorth Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Time For The Canadiens To Say Goodbye to Rene Bourque

Rene Bourque has been in Montreal for two years; he will not be here for a third.

Bourque scored 3 goals and registered 22 SOG in the Canadiens’ four-game sweep of the Lightning in the Eastern Conference Quarter Finals. His performance in game 2 of the series was particularly pleasing to Habs fans when he lit the lamp twice and scored the game winner. He scored a goal and added an assist in game 1 of the Boston series, but was held pointless during the remaining 6 games. In the next round he followed up with 6 points (4G) in 6 games versus New York, including the rare postseason hat-trick, after which his parent’s lawn on the other side of the country was littered with hats. He finished up with 8 goals and 11 points in 17 playoff games.

These numbers are not earth-shattering, but they are strong and his in-game attitude was where it needed to be. It was a solid performance, considering Bourque was averaging under 15 minutes of ice time per game and was coming a off a less-than stellar regular season – 9 goals and 7 assists in 63 games. In the spring, whether a player is producing or not, if he is proving effective in other in-game aspects he is praised. As long as the team is winning – that is the goal. His regular season stats were quickly forgiven once he found his stride. Forgiven, but not forgotten.


The Canadiens are a team with plenty of success to look forward to and a group that is headed in the right direction. One task Marc Bergevin faces is to sit down with head coach Michel Therrien and determine how to eliminate obstacles that can slow the progress of this team. There can be no hesitation – no doubt. It is important to grow the team as a team; it is important to keep continuity in the dressing room and allow the coaches and players to strengthen their trust which will translate into wins. As harsh as this may this sound, eradicating the dead weight will have to begin with Rene Bourque. He will not carry this recent burst of playoff success and energy into the fall.

Apr 20, 2014; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens left wing Rene Bourque (17) waves to the crowd as he is named third star in game three against Tampa Bay Lightning of the first round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

I appreciated his performance in the playoffs, as did all Habs fans. Every time he touched the puck I was cheering him on along with half a dozen friends. I was his biggest advocate every time someone hinted at his poor regular season. That is the responsibility each of us Montreal faithful undertake when we swear an oath to bear the Canadiens banner. It was not enough, however, to cloud my vision. The hype of a deep playoff run can create love but said love is temporary. Even if the Canadiens would have won the Stanley Cup, I would still feel the same way about Rene Bourque, because in 128 games with the Canadiens he has 22 goals and 37 points. Those numbers simply cannot and will not be accepted going forward by Marc Bergevin and Michel Therrien; especially at a $3.3M cap hit.

The course of action is not simple though. The Canadiens are one of four teams that have already used their two compliance buyouts, (the other three are Philadelphia, Toronto and Boston), and Bourque has 2 years remaining on his deal. I would attempt to move him at any cost, if even possible. He is sadly plagued with having been moved here during the Pierre Gauthier era.

…And we sent Mike Cammalleri to the Flames in return.

Any thoughts? Leave them below.


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Tags: Canadiens NHL Rene Bourque

  • Eric

    While I’m all for trying to get rid of Bourque and it was a good article but I’m really hate when people complain about the trade first many people say the trade like it was just Cammalleri for Bourque when really we also got Holland a decent prospect and a second round pick which turned into Fucale “they also got Ramo but he wasn’t going to be a goalie In Montreal” 2′nd I remember lots of people saying this was a great trade for Montreal because cammalleri scored 6 goals in 39 games and was a cancer. And 3′rd lets not forget Cammalleri had a giant contact with his 6 million. Not saying this wasn’t a bad trade but it wasn’t a horrendous trade and when looking in hindsight it wasn’t a bad trade it was just a risky trade gone wrong.

    • Matt Singerman

      Eric, thanks for the feedback/comments. I do agree that it’s not good to “simplify” a trade. I just had to throw it in there. I wanted to leave the Cammalleri trade topic to another time (if it ever comes up). Contract and that season’s numbers aside, I’d rather have cammy than bourque. Perhaps they way things currently are I would have neither of them. But at least cammy was a leader, character guy and competitor – the kinds of things Montreal is growing right now. But again, thanks for saying that because I too do not like when people don’t see all aspects of the trade, or any trade. I’d like more of your thoughts going forward!

  • Rob Grant

    that Mike Cammalleri trade was such a FOOLISH trade.
    the guy cared SO much about the team
    He was the ONLY active player to go visit the hall of famers locker room either during the all star game in Montreal or the big anniversary game that had the Montreal Hall of famers. Either way, the guy had class for the team
    He was the ONLY guy who cared to try and spark a little fight in his team mates
    truth is, HE should have been captain, not Brian Gionta.
    And what does he get for it? a ticket out of town midway through a game, and then they originally wanted to charge him for the jersey that he wanted to keep as a souvenir.

    That’s got to be a hell of a bitter sweet souvernir if you want to keep it after being treated like dirt.

    and what did the Canadiens get in return?

    what a JOKE!

    • SovereignTechnology

      Except for the fact that he absolutely roasted the habs team and coaching staff in the media. Captains don’t do that, at least not good ones.

      • Rob Grant

        all he said was “We prepare for our games like losers. We play like losers. So it’s no wonder why we lose,”

        a bit harsh? yeah, i’ll buy that.
        “roasted the team” ? no way…
        passionate? absolutely…

        he was trying to light a fire under the guys’ ass and instead he was treated like ____ in the middle of a game. I don’t think ANYONE can remember of a player being pulled mid-game for a trade!

        the only part of the comment that was harsh was the preparation portion.. had he said “we’re playing like losers so we shouldn’t expect to be winning” then the fish bowl media that is Montreal wouldn’t have had as much to complain about.

  • Dennis

    that would be a stupid move, We need right wingers bad, we cannot afford to lose anyone on this team.
    Use your head .

  • MikebVT

    I agree this is the time to unload that contract and get someone who gives a 100% night in and out. This should be his peak value and you maybe able to package him with other pieces and get a return.

  • Dar Krum

    I love what Bourque did for us in the playoffs. It is exactly what every team that has picked him up has expected of him, and exactly what he has failed to deliver on a consistent basis. But…

    I have been reading a lot of “dump so and so” on the site. (And I agree with them too!) We still need to ice four lines. Are we a better team getting rid of Bourque and Briere and letting rookies have a shot? Is Bournival ready to play top 6 minutes? I’m not sure and I am thinking that the depth might be necessary.

  • mcpooookles

    totally agree…do it now while his stock has improved.

  • V S

    Time to get rid of you no talent bloggers. Go back to elementary school. What idiots, what sheep. Cammalleri!! The Flames want to get rid of him. BYE

  • groovydude

    Sell high! trade Bourque, he is too enigmatic…sound familiar??? (Kovalev)

  • groovydude

    He’s gotta go!!!!