SUN Hockey Pool

Flames winger pays it forward

STEVE MACFARLANE, Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 11:39 PM ET

Signing a lucrative contract hasn’t done anything to slow down speedy Rene Bourque’s appetite for success.

Hitting the 20-goal mark for the second straight season, the Flames winger is proving his breakout campaign of a year ago was no fluke.

Flames GM Darryl Sutter believed in Bourque enough to encourage him to forego unrestricted free agency this summer and sign a six-year deal after the Olympic break.

Bourque believes he can earn the $20-million payday by continuing to give maximum effort every time he steps on the ice.

“They put a lot of money into my future here the next six years. I’m not gonna change the way I play, but I definitely need to show them I deserve this,” said Bourque, who has two goals and seven points in his last three games.

“I’m going to play the way I can to show them I’m worth that contract and worth that amount of time they invested in me.”

Despite injury troubles, his game has grown in Calgary.

The 28-year-old from Lac La Biche, Alta., scored 21 times last year and will surely shatter that number by the end of the month.

He’s already earned a career-high 28 assists and

48 points. But part of what makes him an impressive player is he’s never satisfied.

Twenty goals? He’s dying for 30.

“I want to try and get 30 this year, but it’s gonna be tough,” Bourque admits with

16 games left and 10 tallies to go to reach that lofty goal.

“Maybe if I didn’t miss those 10 games early in the year,

I would have had a chance.

“Who knows? It could happen.”


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