In a matter of days, Rene Bourque went from the NHL's waiver wire to the left wing beside two of the NHL's best players.
Acquired by the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for defenseman Bryan Allen, Bourque appears set to begin his time in California on the club's top line with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. The 32-year-old found his new locker located next to the formidable pair, and he was quite pleased with the location and his new lot in life after being disposed of by the Montreal Canadiens.
“Sit next to the big two guys over here. Good spot. I’m sure I’ll earn a lot from them. I’d rather be here than anywhere else,” Bourque said Saturday.
“I’m very excited,” he continued. “I think I was looking to be moved after everything went down in Montreal so it was nice to get a good change to a new team. I think I have a lot left. And I think I have a lot to give to this team.”
The 30-year-old is a two-time 27-goal scorer, and chipped in eight goals in 17 playoff games with the Canadiens last spring. Despite failing to score in 13 games in Montreal to begin this season, the Ducks clearly believe Bourque has enough gas left in the tank to contribute.
“I don’t think you trade for anyone if you think otherwise,” said head coach Bruce Boudreau. “We’re hoping that this works out as a good fit for us. It obviously didn’t work out for whatever reason (in Montreal). I don’t think his skills have diminished at all.
“Hopefully we can motivate him to the point that he’s playing the way he was in the playoffs last year.”
Bourque will get his first opportunity to make a good impression with his new team Sunday against the Arizona Coyotes.