Ray Bourque
Position Defenceman
Shot Left
5 ft 11 in (1.8 m)
220 lb (100 kg)
Teams Boston Bruins
Colorado Avalanche
Nationality Flag of Canada Canadian
Born December 28,1960,
St. Laurent , QC, CAN
NHL Draft 8th overall, 1979
Boston Bruins
Pro Career 1979 – 2001
Hall of Fame, 2004

Raymond Jean Bourque (born December 28, 1960) is a Canadian retired professional Hockey Hall of Famer who currently holds the records for most goals, assists and points by a defenceman in the National Hockey League (NHL), and has become near-synonymous with the Boston Bruins franchise, for which he played 21 seasons. He also played for the Colorado Avalanche.

Playing CareerEdit

Bourque was the third-round pick of the Trois-Rivières Draveurs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). Half-way through his rookie season, coach and GM Michel Bergeron traded Bourque to Sorel for high-scoring Benoit Gosselin. After a stellar junior career with Sorel and Verdun of the QMJHL, in which he was named the league's best defenceman in 1978 and 1979, Ray Bourque's NHL debut came in 1979 after being drafted in the first round, 8th overall, by the Bruins, with a first round draft choice obtained from the Los Angeles Kings in a 1977 trade for goaltender Ron Grahame, whose son John would be a future teammate of Bourque's.

He would make an immediate impact in Boston, scoring a goal in hi first game while facing the Winnipeg Jets.Bourque asserted himself from the start as one of the best defencemen in the league, winning both the Calder Trophy as Rookie of the Year and a First Team All-Star selection, the first time in NHL history a non-goaltender had ever achieved such a distinction. His 65 point that season was a record at the time for a rookie defenceman.

In 1985, upon the retirement of Bruins' captain Terry O'Reilly to coach the club, Bourque and veteran Rick Middleton were named as co-captains of the team, Middleton to wear the "C" during home games and Bourque for road games. Upon Middleton's retirement in 1988, Bourque became the team's sole captain, and retained the position for the remainder of his Bruins' tenure. In so doing, he passed Dit Clapper as the longest tenured Bruins' captain in history, as well as passing Alex Delvecchio of the Detroit Red Wings as the longest-serving team captain in NHL history, a mark since surpassed by Steve Yzerman of the Red Wings.

Bourque proved a solid force for Boston for twenty-one seasons (1979–2000), famous for combining offensive prowess at a level that few defencemen in league history had ever achieved – he was a perennial shot accuracy champion at All-Star Games — and near-unparalleled defensive excellence. The Bruins' reliance on his on-ice mastery was so total that — while Bourque was very durable throughout much of his career — the team was seen by many to flounder whenever he was out of the lineup.

During Bourque's tenure with the Bruins, the team continued what would be a North American professional record twenty-nine consecutive seasons in the playoffs, a streak that would persist through the 1996 season. It was capped by Bourque leading the team to the Stanley Cup finals against the Edmonton Oilers in both 1988 and 1990, and while the Bruins lost in both series, he finished second to Oiler Mark Messier in 1990 in the closest race ever for the Hart Memorial Trophy, the league's Most Valuable Player award.


Controversially, when Bourque started playing for the Bruins, he was assigned jersey number 7, the uniform number of ex-Bruins' great Phil Esposito and only briefly worn thereafter. When the Bruins elected to retire #7 in Esposito's honor, Bourque approached Esposito during the on-ice ceremonies and removed his #7 jersey to reveal a new #77 jersey beneath, signifying that Bourque was surrendering his old number in favor of Esposito. Though many applauded Bourque for giving up his number 7 at the time, taking on an all-star number (77- double digits numbers of the same numeral are common amongst elite players) seemed something Bourque relished.

International PlayEdit

Bourque played for Team Canada in the Canada Cup in 1981, 1984 and 1987. He also played for the NHL All-Stars in Rendez-vous '87 against the Soviet Union, and played for the Canadian team in the 1998 Olympics, leading all defencemen in scoring.

Colorado AvalancheEdit

Early in 2000, Bourque requested a trade from the fading Bruins so he would have a chance to win the Stanley Cup.

Initially, he requested a trade to the Philadelphia Flyers, and Flyers' general manager Bobby Clarke offered the Bruins Andy Delmore and Daymond Langkow for Bourque. In reality, Bruins general manager Harry Sinden was finalizing a trade with the Colorado Avalanche, under the conditions that it could not be leaked to the press. On March 6, 2000, Bourque was traded to Colorado with fellow veteran Dave Andreychuk for Brian Rolston, Martin Grenier, Samuel Påhlsson and a first round draft pick.

Although Bourque played just a season and a half with the Avalanche, he proved to be a force both on the ice and in the locker room, leading Colorado defencemen in scoring, and being named an alternate captain and making the First All-Star team in his final season, finishing as runner-up to the Detroit Red Wings' Nicklas Lidstrom for the Norris Trophy. Finally, on June 9, 2001, after 22 seasons, the Avalanche — and Bourque — won the Stanley Cup, in what proved to be Bourque's final game as a player. Bourque was the first player since the tradition was established to carry the Stanley Cup on the victory lap before the team captain and two-time Cup winner, Joe Sakic. Victorious Colorado goalie Patrick Roy, whose fourth championship had come the same day as Bourque's first, said of the Cup and his teammate, "A name was missing from that [Cup], and today it is back to normal."

Bourque had waited longer to win his first Cup than any other Cup-winning player had in the 108-year history of Stanley Cup, having played 1,826 Regular season and playoff games combined.

He retired with defensive regular season records in goals (410) and assists (1169) for 1579 points. Bourque passed Paul Coffey in his final season to become the all time leader in goals, assists and points for a defenceman.


Bourque was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2004, the first season he was eligible. His uniform number #77 has been retired by both the Bruins and the Avalanche; he is one of only six players (Gordie Howe, Bobby Hull, Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, and Patrick Roy) whose jersey has been retired by more than one club. His birthplace of Saint-Laurent named the Raymond Bourque Arena in his honour.

His son, Chris Bourque, was drafted by the Washington Capitals in 2004. The younger Bourque is a well-regarded prospect who subsequently turned professional, playing for the Hershey Bears in the 2007 season and making his NHL debut for the Capitals in 2007. His 2nd son Ryan, is eligible for the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

Awards and AchievementsEdit

Bourque's prowess led him to become one of the most honored players in NHL history. During his career he was selected to thirteen First Team (the most in history) and six Second Team All-Star squads, second in total in league history only to Gordie Howe and most amongst defencemen. He won the Norris Trophy as the top defenceman in the league five times, fourth all-time only to Doug Harvey, Bobby Orr and Nicklas Lidström. Among his numerous other records and honors are the following:

  • Is seventh in all-time games played with 1612.
  • Retired second, and is currently fourth, in all-time assists with 1169.
  • Is eleventh in all-time points scored with 1579.
  • Is first in all-time points scored by a defense with 1579.
  • Is first in all-time defense goals scored with 472.
  • The NHL career leader in shots on goal with 6206, nearly a thousand ahead of the second leading shooter, Marcel Dionne.
  • Is third in all-time cumulative plus-minus with 528, behind Larry Robinson and Bobby Orr.
  • Won the Norris Trophy in 1987, 1988, 1990, 1991 and 1994.
  • Won the King Clancy Memorial Trophy in 1992.
  • Received the Lester Patrick Trophy in 2003.
  • Named a First Team All-Star in 1980, 1982, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1990–1994, 1996 and 2001.
  • Named a Second Team All-Star in 1981, 1983, 1986, 1989, 1995 and 1999.
  • Became only the sixth defenceman in NHL history to score 30 goals in a season, 1984
  • Became only the third defenceman in NHL history to reach the 1,000 NHL points milestone, 1992
  • Is the Bruins' all-time career leader in games played, assists and points; also ranks fourth in goals.
  • Registered his 1,528th point Oct. 25, 2000, vs. Nashville, passing Paul Coffey as the NHL's all-time leader among defencemen.
  • Registered his 1,137th assist Dec. 21, 2000 vs. L.A. Kings, passing Paul Coffey for second place on the NHL's all-time assists list and first among defencemen.
  • Named to play in the All-Star Game for the 19th consecutive season, passing Wayne Gretzky for the league record, 2001
  • Was named the Most Valuable Player of the All-Star Game in 1996.
  • Is third all-time in playoff assists and tenth all-time in playoff points.
  • In 1998, three years before the end of his career, he was ranked number 14 on The Hockey News' list of the one hundred greatest hockey players of all time, then the highest-ranking player who had not yet won a Stanley Cup. He passed this dubious baton 24 spots down the list to No. 38-ranked Marcel Dionne after the 2001 Cup victory of Colorado.

He is also in an unusal category as he has two arenas name after him.  The Raymond Bourque Arena located in in the St. Laurent neighborhood of Montreal where is grew up and the Raymond J Bourque Arena located in Beverly, Massachusetts near where he lives are both named after him.

Career StatisticsEdit

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1976–77 Sorel Black Hawks QMJHL 69 12 36 48 61
1977–78 Verdun Black Hawks QMJHL 72 22 57 79 90 4 2 1 3 0
1978–79 Verdun Black Hawks QMJHL 63 22 71 93 44 11 3 16 19 18
1979–80 Boston Bruins NHL 80 17 48 65 73 10 2 9 11 27
1980–81 Boston Bruins NHL 67 27 29 56 96 3 0 1 1 2
1981–82 Boston Bruins NHL 65 17 49 66 51 9 1 5 6 16
1982–83 Boston Bruins NHL 65 22 51 73 20 17 8 15 23 10
1983–84 Boston Bruins NHL 78 31 65 96 57 3 0 2 2 0
1984–85 Boston Bruins NHL 73 20 66 86 53 5 0 3 3 4
1985–86 Boston Bruins NHL 74 19 58 77 68 3 0 0 0 0
1986–87 Boston Bruins NHL 78 23 72 95 36 4 1 2 3 0
1987–88 Boston Bruins NHL 78 17 64 81 72 23 3 18 21 26
1988–89 Boston Bruins NHL 60 18 43 61 52 10 0 4 4 6
1989–90 Boston Bruins NHL 76 19 65 84 50 17 5 12 17 16
1990–91 Boston Bruins NHL 76 21 73 94 75 19 7 18 25 12
1991–92 Boston Bruins NHL 80 21 60 81 56 12 3 6 9 12
1992–93 Boston Bruins NHL 78 19 63 82 40 4 1 0 1 2
1993–94 Boston Bruins NHL 72 20 71 91 58 13 2 8 10 0
1994–95 Boston Bruins NHL 46 12 31 43 20 5 0 3 3 0
1995–96 Boston Bruins NHL 80 20 62 82 58 5 1 6 7 2
1996–97 Boston Bruins NHL 62 19 31 50 18
1997–98 Boston Bruins NHL 82 13 35 48 80 6 1 4 5 2
1998–99 Boston Bruins NHL 81 10 47 57 34 12 1 9 10 14
1999–2000 Boston Bruins NHL 65 10 28 38 20
1999–2000 Colorado Avalanche NHL 14 8 6 14 6 13 1 8 9 8
2000–01 Colorado Avalanche NHL 80 7 52 59 48 21 4 6 10 12
QMJHL totals 204 56 164 220 195 15 5 17 22 18
NHL totals 1612 472 1169 1579 1141 214 41 139 180 171

Preceded by
Terry O'Reilly
Boston Bruins captains
(with Rick Middleton 198588)
Succeeded by
Jason Allison
Preceded by
Chris Chelios
Winner of the Norris Trophy
Succeeded by
Paul Coffey
Preceded by
Chris Chelios
Winner of the Norris Trophy
1990, 1991
Succeeded by
Brian Leetch
Preceded by
Paul Coffey
Winner of the Norris Trophy
1987, 1988
Succeeded by
Chris Chelios
Preceded by
Dave Taylor
Winner of the King Clancy Memorial Trophy
Succeeded by
Dave Poulin
Preceded by
Bobby Smith
Winner of the Calder Memorial Trophy
Succeeded by
Peter Šťastný
Boston Bruins First Round Draft Picks
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EA Sports NHL Cover Athletes
'94: Ray Bourque, Clark Donatelli, Andy Moog & Tomas Sandström

'95: Kirk McLean& Alexei Kovalev '96: Scott Stevens & Steve Yzerman '97: John Vanbiesbrouck '98: Peter Forsberg '99: Eric Lindros '00: Chris Pronger '01: Owen Nolan '02: Mario Lemieux '03: Jarome Iginla '04: Dany Heatley '04: Joe Sakic '05: Markus Näslund '06: Vincent Lecavalier '07: Alexander Ovechkin '08: Eric Staal

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