Fifteen games into the season, Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin has seen enough, and what he has seen he doesn’t like. Bergevin has placed left winger Rene Bourque on waivers. If he goes unclaimed by another team by noon Monday, he will become a member of the AHL Hamilton Bulldogs.
As expected, the team recalled defenseman Jarred Tinordi after a two game weekend conditioning stint with Hamilton and at the same time returned forward Drayson Bowman to the Bulldogs.
With the exception of his 2014 playoff run, Bourque has been a bust in Montreal. He was acquired in the Mike Cammalleri trade in January 2012. After back to back 27 goal seasons in Calgary, Bourque has managed only 21 goals in 140 games with the Canadiens. He has no goals and two assists in thirteen games this season and in the 39 regular season games dating back to January 22nd he has scored only twice which finally prompted Michel Therrien to give up and make him a healthy scratch the last two outings.
The Canadiens obviously hope another team will make a claim on him. If not, Bourque and his 3.33 million dollars annual cap hit will be off the books. (CORRECTION – Under the so-called Wade Redden Rule, money paid to players with one-way contracts outside of the NHL counts against the cap with the following formula [cap hit minus minimum salary plus $375,000] — in Bourque’s case $2.408,000). Should Bourque somehow find his scoring touch and confidence in Hamilton, the Canadiens will not have to ask re-entry waivers on him under the new CBA.
Bourque has another year remaining on a six year contract he signed in 2010 in Calgary. At the bottom end of the front loaded contract he earns 2.5 million this season and next.
A LOPSIDED TRADE
On January 12, 2012, the day after he publically questioned his ice time, general manager Pierre Gauthier traded Cammalleri back to Calgary.
The Canadiens Acquired –
….Bourque who scored 21 goals and 18 assists in 140 games with the Canadiens.
….Forward Patrick Holland – assigned to Hamilton and eventually included in the September Peter Budaj trade to Winnipeg for forward Eric Tangradi.
….The 2013 second round draft choice became Halifax goaltender Zach Fucale (36th overall)
Calgary Acquired –
….Michael Cammalleri who scored 50 goals and 36 assists 135 games over three seasons with the Flames. Joined the Islanders this season as an unrestricted free agent.
….Goaltender Karri Ramo, who was playing the KHL at the time of the trade, currently shares Calgary goaltending with Jonas Hiller.
….The fifth round 2012 draft choice was Quebec Remparts defenseman Ryan Culkin , now with Adirondack of the AHL.