The name on the back is the same for No. 27 of the U.S. junior team but that's where the similarities end for the son of Hall of Fame defenceman Ray Bourque. Listed in the U.S. media guide as 5-foot-9 and 178 pounds, Chris Bourque is a small but energetic forward who doesn't necessarily bring to mind the manner of play that his dad enjoyed for 22 illustrious NHL seasons.
"We play a different style, but he taught me a lot and took me places most kids couldn't go, which was behind the scenes in the NHL," Chris Bourque said yesterday after a mid-afternoon practice at the opulent Ralph Engelstad Arena here in Grand Forks, N.D. "It's awesome to have the bloodlines. I have no complaints."
Famous father or not, Chris Bourque has rightfully earned a spot with the American juniors.
NOT RIDING NAME
A freshman at Boston University, the 18-year-old was drafted 33rd overall by the Washington Capitals last June after he was named New England prep school MVP. In a 5-4 win against Russia on Saturday, Bourque skated on the Americans' top line with Patrick O'Sullivan and Drew Stafford and scored a goal.
Ray Bourque watched practice from the seats and said he's proud his son has attained plenty with the pressure of carrying the family name.
"Every level he has gone to, he has heard about it and dealt with it excellently," said Ray Bourque, who lives a half-hour north of Boston and for the past 18 months has been a spokesman for one of the city's banks. "He can't do anything about the name on his sweater, but he competes hard and that's what he loves to do. He doesn't know any better."
Bourque, who remembers the 1987 Canada Cup as the best hockey he was a part of, has no problem with the U.S. logo on his son's chest.
"We were fortunate to live in a place like Boston with its rich hockey tradition," the elder Bourque said. "For him to make this team is not only a thrill for himself but one for us too. Chris saw me play in a lot of international events for Canada and for him to be part of this experience is great."
Naturally, Ray Bourque is not unlike any hockey fan who wishes to see an end to the NHLlockout, but he is not holding his breath.
"You get a little worried," he said. "You don't want to think about a season without hockey, but it looks like there is a very good chance that may happen. The owners seem to be firm on what they are looking for (cost certainty) and that makes for tough negotiations."