The Colorado Avalanche announced today that they have come to terms on contracts for both Rene Bourque and Gabriel Bourque (no relation, and no relation to Ray Bourque either). The duo were both in Avs camp on PTO agreements, but have earned themselves a job for the 2016-17 season. Both players signed one-year deals for under $1MM, which could turn out to be a great deal for GM Joe Sakic and Colorado.
Rene signed a one-way contract worth $650K after leading the Avalanche in scoring in the preseason. The veteran of 660 NHL games was once a 50-point player for a few years with the Calgary Flames in the late 2000’s, but has bounced around the NHL since then, unable to find a good fit. He hopes to carve out a role for himself on a young, offensive Colorado team by bringing a strong two-way game, special teams experience, and a veteran presence into the fold.
Gabriel signed a two-way contract worth $800K at the NHL level, and was subsequently put on waivers with the hopes that he could be assigned to the Avs’ AHL affiliate, the San Antonio Rampage. While Gabriel may start the season in the minors, don’t expect him to stay there. While he was never able to find consistency in his five years with the Nashville Predators, the young winger has shown offensive ability that could make him a 20-goal scorer on the right team. His style of play fits well with the makeup of the Avalanche roster, and both Gabriel and Colorado may benefit from this change of scenery more than they know.