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Updates on Bourque and Laing

When Chris Bourque was among the last players cut in training camp, he hoped it was a temporary demotion and that he would spend some significant time in Washington this season. But it hasn't worked out that way. If he plays tonight in Carolina, as expected, it will be only his seventh game with the Caps in 2008-09, his fourth pro season.

Bourque has put up some solid numbers in Hershey, posting 18 goals and a career-high 61 points. But the 23-year-old winger has run into the same a problem a few of the organization's prospects are having: The Caps are deep and young and leading the Southeast Division by 13 points.

On a struggling club like the Islanders or Thrashers, Bourque might have spent much, if not all, of this season in the big leagues. In Washington, he's behind left wings Alex Ovechkin, Tomas Fleischmann, Brooks Laich, Donald Brashear and (occasionally) David Steckel. Bourque can play center, too, but the Caps are even deeper at that position.

"I wanted to be a up a little bit more," said Bourque, whose only NHL point this season was his first career goal on Dec. 28th in Buffalo. "I thought I had a good camp. But I can't really control [call-ups]. So when I do get the chance, I want to do well and make it hard for them to send me back down."

It's unclear how long Bourque's current call-up will last, though it's possible it could be a short one since Brashear is close to returning from a sprained knee. But what Bourque does know is this: He'll be a restricted free agent this summer and he's going to have some tough choices to make.

"That's something I'm going to have to look at after the season," he said. "My contract is up. But I'm not really worried about that right now. I'm worried about helping [the Caps] when I'm up here and helping Hershey when I'm down there."

Bourque is hurt a little bit by his size -- he's about 5 foot 7 -- though everyone I've talked to thinks he can overcome his size disadvantage with his tenacity. He also isn't helped by the fact that he'll be on the fourth line tonight and will receive limited ice time. It's not the ideal situation, but Bourque plans to make the best of it.

"That's the professional game," he said. "Sometimes it's not way you plan it to go, or the way you want it to go, but you just have to go with it and fight through it."

Laing May Not Need Surgery
Quintin Laing may not need surgery on his spleen, according to a team spokesman. Laing suffered a torn spleen Thursday night in Tampa and has been in a hospital there since. The spokesman also said Laing's doctors are waiting for the swelling to subside, and if everything continues to go as planned, Laing could return home on Monday.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 21, 2009; 2:02 PM ET
 
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Next: Tonight's Lineup: Caps at Hurricanes

Comments

Love Bourque, he's the type who can get a dirty goal in front of the net, which would make BB very happy and probably lead to several games here

Posted by: gtydings | March 21, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

wow how time flies. it seems like yesterday when bourque was drafted. he will have a tough time making this team.

Posted by: hockeypope | March 21, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

I would really hate to see CB leave this year and blossom on whatever team he signs as a career NHL'r, ala his pops.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 21, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Who did Ray Bourque blossom with?

He was drafted by the Bruins, became the face of the team for 21 years, then basically did nothing to collect the Cup with the Avs.

I'll take that from his son

Posted by: gtydings | March 21, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

never really liked bourque, thought he was a little bit of an ass, and his attitude wasnt good...but this year i think ive realized hes just a little shy, and he works his butt off even know hes been in the A all year, he still works hard every game. he really deserves to be in the nhl.

Posted by: bearsfan26 | March 21, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Did nothing? Even at his age he was key piece to the Avs taking it that year. Andreychuk did nothing in Tampa too, i guess.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 21, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

@gytydings-
Nothing to get the cup with the Avs? I dunno if Ray Bourque ever 'did nothing'. He was one of the best to ever play. He should have left Boston years before, truth be told. He could have gone to any team he wanted. He was pretty focused on getting one in Boston, but...

Posted by: oo7 | March 21, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

never really liked bourque, thought he was a little bit of an ass, and his attitude wasnt good...but this year i think ive realized hes just a little shy, and he works his butt off even know hes been in the A all year, he still works hard every game. he really deserves to be in the nhl.

Posted by: bearsfan26 | March 21, 2009 2:41 PM

he is known for being an ass. couple of my friends in jersey who played with him hate the kid. he used to get really hot-headed and not able to back it up.

apparently that hasnt been a problem last year/this year though.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 21, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

He should have left Boston years before, truth be told. He could have gone to any team he wanted. He was pretty focused on getting one in Boston, but...

Posted by: oo7 | March 21, 2009 2:44 PM

so if ovie doesnt get a cup in 10 years, you would want him to leave us for cup/money ?

i prefer franchise players who have dedication over players who want that instant gratification personally...

Posted by: richmondphil | March 21, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

If Ovie leaves in 15 years, will he blossom for another team?

Posted by: gtydings | March 21, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

What? Instant gratification? 10 years later? If Ovie stays in Washington for 10 years and doesn't win a cup, I would have no problem with him taking his wares somewhere else. Sure, Id be glad if he stayed forever, but he should have a championship, more than one. If The Gm turns and says, "Ovie, we're going to rebuild," then by all means leave. The days of players staying forever are done. Look what happened with Kolzig. If I was at a job for ten years and I still wasn't any room to advance, I'd look at switching offices.

Posted by: oo7 | March 21, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

reading comprehension, again, is not your strong point.

blossom into a career NHLr...ala his pops.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 21, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

@Tarik:

If Laing doesn't need surgery, does the timetable for his recovery change? Would love to have his shot-blocking prowess available next month...Thanks.

Posted by: baldinga | March 21, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

What? Instant gratification? 10 years later? If Ovie stays in Washington for 10 years and doesn't win a cup, I would have no problem with him taking his wares somewhere else. Sure, Id be glad if he stayed forever, but he should have a championship, more than one. If The Gm turns and says, "Ovie, we're going to rebuild," then by all means leave. The days of players staying forever are done. Look what happened with Kolzig. If I was at a job for ten years and I still wasn't any room to advance, I'd look at switching offices.

Posted by: oo7 | March 21, 2009 2:58 PM

okay, but what the hell does this have to do with what you want for the Caps? You are telling me you want Ovie to leave us for a cup because he never won one here? Okay....

I am perfectly aware of the reasoning behind leaving a franchise after so many years without winning anything, but you are telling me you would want that to happen? okay...

you said that bourque should have left early. why? so he can get more cups? okay...to a lot of players that sounds interesting. But it seems that RB disagreed with you.

and your comment about it not happening anymore..i can think of at least 2 current superstars who disagree with you.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 21, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Scott Stevens regrets leaving the Caps, he did absolutely nothing in NJ

Posted by: gtydings | March 21, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

player perspective vs. fan perspective.

we are both fans, so why are you defending the players perspective? no fan should WANT their franchise player to leave them for a cup, though it doesnt take a genius to understand why he would leave. you get it?

Posted by: richmondphil | March 21, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Scott Stevens regrets leaving the Caps, he did absolutely nothing in NJ

Posted by: gtydings | March 21, 2009 3:08 PM

i see what you are trying to do, but again, it seems your reading comprehension has failed you.

just like RB did nothing in Colorado right?

Posted by: richmondphil | March 21, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Yeah that was a scintillating 18 months for Bourque.

But as you said, he spent 20 years with Boston before blossoming somewhere else. Those years in Boston were a total waste

Posted by: gtydings | March 21, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

QL is using determination to close the hole in his spleen. This is especially helpful because, the doctor was unable to penetrate his skin with the scalpel.

Posted by: am_jim | March 21, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

also if RB has ever been quoted in saying "i regret not leaving Boston earlier", i will stop posting here. just for you gtydings, so then you will have to find a new poster to taste the sweet, succulent ball sweat from.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 21, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

But as you said, he spent 20 years with Boston before blossoming somewhere else. Those years in Boston were a total waste

Posted by: gtydings | March 21, 2009 3:14 PM


again, reading comprehension must not be a priority up there in BC or something.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 21, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

This from Bourque in June 2001 Sports Illustrated

"I loved playing in Boston, loved the fans, the city. I had a great time there. But, yes in hindsight, I probably should have left earlier so I could have had more endings like this."

See you later and take your girls hockey skates with you

Posted by: gtydings | March 21, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Ray Bourque was ineligible for "instant" anything by the time he reached Colorado. His contribution to the Avs was enough to earn him an A and lead their defense in scoring.
CBourque sounds frustrated. Maybe a couple of Flash's starts would cheer him up.

Posted by: redlineblue | March 21, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

is it weird that 007, a rational, normal human being, read my statement correct but gtydings is dwelling on some sort of misunderstanding?

im not so sure if its a matter of your horrible reading comprehension or if its a matter that you swing on my nuts so hard that you are just digging for something to call me out on.

either way, you lose.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 21, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Bye. You said you were leaving. Adios mite player

Posted by: gtydings | March 21, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

This from Gretzky in 1988:

"Whats so special about (Crosby?) ? Sure, he has good head. Has good stick, but whats so special (crosby?) ? Anyone who sits in front of net like that will get 100 points, even if deadwood. Even (Patrick) Kane in Chicago has better play. "

Posted by: richmondphil | March 21, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Be a man and honor what you said and leave. You were wrong.

My guess is you are exactly who I think you are, and you won't man up to what you said.

Posted by: gtydings | March 21, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Found this in SI. Quote from Orr in 1960 (he was just bantam at this time, just like me), right after bourque was born:

"Whats so special about (bourque?) ? Sure, he has good feet, good body. But anyone score 100 points if sit in front of net even deadwood. (I) think that he do much better as Colorado Nordique in 40 year then in Boston. Even (Patrick) Kane in Chicago play better."

weird. hockey players like to repeat each other.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 21, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Wonder if there is any chance of someone like borque being on the playoff roster ahead of brashear

Posted by: mikebrady1 | March 21, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

and now for some real RB quotes:

"The perfect thing would have been winning five Cups in Boston," Bourque said. "That's probably my biggest regret, not winning a Cup in Boston. That, for me, was tough. I wanted to stay but my age..and you know, it's the Stanley Cup, you know?"

When he retired he settled back in the Boston area and spent much of his time assisting his oldest son Chris's team at Cushing Academy. At least three times a week Bourque made the 1 hour, 45-minute trip from his home to campus to help with practice, attend games and load equipment onto buses for road trips. When practices were over it was Bourque who would often be down on the ice, picking up the pucks.

"It's not so much what I accomplished personally," Bourque said. "It's just some of the special guys that you played with over the course of your career. Playing in Boston. Just learning what it was to be a Bruin from guys like Terry O'Reilly and Rick Middleton. The whole history of the players and the team. It was a phenomenal experience for me. Colorado reenergized me, but my heart is in Boston."

"No regrets in staying with Boston for so long. I learned hockey here. I was contemplating retirement when the idea of a last Stanley Cup run came up."


in regards to Sundin, who has pulled a "Bourque" recently (though why he chose VAN is weird):
After 21 seasons as the heart and soul and face of the franchise, Bourque was faced with the same situation as Sundin, and arguably a more difficult one. Bourque had only ever played for Boston, and twice had led them to the Stanley Cup finals, but still had never won a Cup. The Bruins were in bad shape, and were going to miss the playoffs, Bourque was contemplating retirement, but desperately wanted another shot at the Cup. By accepting a trade to Colorado as a rental player instead of retiring, Bourque got another shot at winning, and the Bruins got assets in return for him instead of getting nothing.

Remember Bourque bringing the Cup back to Boston in the summer and sharing it with the Bruin fans? Your faithful Maple Leaf fans would have jumped at the chance for you to bring Lord Stanley back to Toronto regardless of what jersey you wore winning it. Their only opportunity now is buying a ticket to the Hall of Fame.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 21, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

See you later

Posted by: gtydings | March 21, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

things seem to have gone south in my short absence. I think I'm going to politely refrain. There must be an eclipse today.

Last thought: I don't expect the Canes to be tired on this second of back to backs; I think they're gonna come out foaming at the mouth.

Posted by: oo7 | March 21, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

I'd rather Bourque stay up longer and Brash takes all the time he needs for his knee. Even if his knee is ok, I rather see Bourque get the time on ice. He can score, he is fast, and he can scrum along the boards well.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | March 21, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

theres an idea 007...lets talk about the Caps. Anyway it is nice that we finally have so much depth that free agents can actually decide to go to another team due to lack of playing time here. When was the last time any of you saw that happen within the Capitals organization?

Posted by: hart2014 | March 21, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Thanks to all those who have sent their best to QL ...the entire family is most appreciative

Posted by: wendel2 | March 21, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

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