Nobody can accuse the Canadiens of failing to give forward Michael Bournival a fair shot at earning an NHL job. Since turning professional three years ago, Bournival has played more games in the NHL than he has with the American Hockey League Hamilton Bulldogs.
With a raft of new offensive talent coming into the organization,in late June the best the Canadiens felt they could offer the restricted free agent Bournival was a one year qualifying offer for next season.
After nearly three weeks of consideration, Bournival has agreed to give it one more shot.
In three years, Bournival has played 89 games with the Habs including 29 last season where he had three goals and two assists and was plus-3. At the same time he dressed a total of 84 games with Hamilton with 15 goals and 42 points.
There are a lot of things to like about Bournival’s game. He can skate, a determined competitor and responsible defensively. On the other side, he doesn’t handle the puck very well and as a result is not a very good playmaker. Add to that his 5’10” size and one might gain an insight into the Canadiens hesitation to commit to him long-term.
There are some scouts who think Bournival’s game is best suited for Europe and specifically Switzerland where they think his hockey career will eventually take him.
Bournival joins forward Gabriel Dumont and defenseman Morgan Ellis who were offered and signed one-year RFA contracts as well.
From Canadiens Communications
Bournival, 23, played 29 games with the Canadiens in 2014-15, recording five points (3 goals, 2 assists). He posted a differential of +3 and served 4 penalty minutes. He registered one game-winning goal, 27 shots on goal and totaled 26 hits. The 5’11” and 196 lbs forward also took part in 12 games with the AHL Hamilton Bulldogs, recording nine points (3 goals, 6 assists) and a differential of +4.
Colorado Avalanche‘s third-round selection (71st overall) in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, the Shawinigan, Québec native was acquired by the Canadiens on November 11, 2010, in return for defenseman Ryan O’Byrne.