Tuesday, April 5, 2011

All Things Avs blog: Raymond Bourque, we hardly knew ye


In this blog entry, Adrian Dater takes the opportunity to reminisce about Raymond Bourque's long and distinguished career with the Colorado Avalanche. To be fair, Dater has often stated that he grew up a Bruins fan, so it's no wonder he has fond memories of Bourque. All Avs fans do, too.

Avs superstar defenseman Ray Bourque in a previous life.
Joe Sakic touching the Cup only just long enough to hand it over to Bourque is one of the best post-Cup moments I've ever seen. Yeah, he was a rental, but he was a rental for all the right reasons: he wanted (and probably deserved) to go out a winner, and the Avs needed the skill and presence he was known for to bring them together as a championship team.

My only Avs-related regret regarding Bourque is that the team decided to retire his number. A team doesn't retire a guys' number because he happened to be a great player who wore their jersey. A guy gets his number retired when he embodies what a team was for years and years. Raymond Bourque embodied the Bruins for years, and his number is retired in Boston for a reason. Having his number retired in Colorado, after just over 100 games with the team, is just embarrassing... a desperate attempt by a team with very little history of their own to associate themselves with a great career.

The Avs have enough great careers to honor that they should have left Bourque's honors to Boston. It's embarrassing that Borque's number is retired in two NHL cities, but Peter Stastny's and Michel Goulet's numbers are retired in none. Embarrassing.

But, that's just me going off on a tangent, forgetting about the blog itself for a bit. Apologies! As far as this blog is concerned, I don't have a big problem with it. While I don't care for a reporter placing his or her personal feelings about a player so prominently within his or her writing -- Dater's lovefest with Forsberg earlier this season is a good example of how badly things can get when a journalist is allowed to gush about his or her personal feelings -- when it's a retired player, I think the standard there can be relaxed quite a bit. And what retired player's story brings a smile to more people's faces than Bourque's?


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