Bourque signs for six more years

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:54 AM ET

Rene Bourque has decided to stick around Alberta for a long time.

The Calgary Flames announced Thursday morning that the forward from Lac La Biche has inked a six-year extension with the team for $20 million.

They wanted six years and I wanted a long-term deal, said Bourque Thursday morning. We both had an agreement there.

I wanted to stay here for a while and they thought I was a big part of the team. I was happy to get that offer and happy to accept it.

Since coming over in a trade with the Chicago Blackhawks in the summer of 2008, Bourque has emerged as a top-line winger with the Flames.

He scored 21 goals in his first season in Calgary, and has shown it wasnt a fluke this year by potting 18 goals in 53 games. In 2009-2010, Bourque has already established a career high with 41 points and there are 20 games remaining on the schedule.

Its a big year for me in terms of career and getting a deal done, said the 28-year-old. Getting six years was a big part of the decision. Im happy its done and Im happy to be a Flame for six more years.

I was feeling pressure before I signed, so this is a relief going back to playing and getting back to where I was at the beginning of the season.

Ive been playing in the top six consistently and been able to produce offensively and play well defensively. Ive had the opportunity and Im trying to run with it.

Although he has missed the past three games with a shoulder injury, Bourque resumed skating with the team when it returned Wednesday following a 10-day Olympic break.

Flames general manager Darryl Sutter is pleased to lock up one of the players he referred to as key of the Flames future.

Sutter managed to get Bourque away from the Chicago Blackhawks for a conditional draft pick, and a change did the winger a world of good.

Bourque had 33 goals in 183 games with the Hawks over three seasons before the trade, but he broke out with the Flames.

I dont know if hes grown, said Sutter. Hes a good player who had a couple tough years with injuries.

If you look at his college career (at Wisconsin), he put up great numbers. This is a good story because hes not a drafted player. He was the rookie of the year in the American league.

He goes to the NHL, has a good rookie year and then gets banged up for a couple of years. Then he gets moved hes a good player for us and he can be good for a long time.


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