Bourque, 27, has carved out a nice professional career for himself since being selected 132nd-overall by the Nashville Predators in 2009. In 306 career NHL games he’s scored just 89 points, but works hard at both ends of the rink and can provide some valuable depth for a team that is suddenly looking more like a contender for next season. After bottoming out in 2016-17, the Avalanche bounced back and made the playoffs on the back of an MVP-caliber season from Nathan MacKinnon and some surprise performances from role players.
After re-signing Mark Alt, and Mark Barberio already, Bourque’s contract may indicate the team is now turning their focus on some of the expiring contracts up front. Bourque’s deal poses very little risk as a depth option that could be buried in the minor leagues without causing any cap hit. Matt Nieto (RFA), Nail Yakupov (RFA) and Blake Comeau (UFA) are the other three free agents, though there isn’t a clear picture when they would be re-signed, if at all.
In 58 games last season Bourque scored just 11 points, which is likely to be where his totals fall again next year—both in games played and points—if everything goes right for the Avalanche. He’s not being brought back to play in every game, or to be responsible for scoring at a high pace. But the added depth that GM Joe Sakic has integrated over the last year paid off in spades in 2017-18, and he’ll try to do the same once again.