Chris Bourque, who last week announced his intention to leave Boston University to play for Moncton of the Quebec Major Junior League, has instead signed a contract to play with the Portland Pirates of the American Hockey League.
Portland is the AHL affiliate of the Washington Capitals, the team that drafted Bourque in the second round of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.
Bourque had 10 goals and 23 points in 35 games for the Terriers this season. According to USHR.com, Bourque has always struggled academically, and that may have been the impetus for his decision to leave.
“I just told (BU coach Jack Parker) that school wasn’t the thing for me and I wanted to be focused on hockey 100 per cent of the time and that’s what it’s going to be like for me going to (major junior),” Bourque told the Moncton Times & Transcript.
Bourque also told the Boston Globe, “College was a good time, but it wasn’t for me. I wasn’t a big fan of going to school and going to class. It’s not the place for me. I knew what I was coming into. I didn’t think it was going to be as hard or as serious as it was.
“It’s more offensive minded (in the QMJHL) and that’s more my style. I’m happy with my decision (to join Moncton). I don’t think I’m going to regret it.”
Bourque has been pursued aggressively by Moncton over the past couple of years, but judging by comments from Moncton director of hockey operations Allan Power in a Moncton newspaper, Bourque may have jumped the gun in announcing his intentions to play there.
“Advised — whatever that means,” said Power to the Times & Transcript about Bourque’s statement that agent Steve Kasper advised Moncton of his intentions. “If it means that we’re advised as far as what’s going on in the newspaper, then we’re advised. Reporters like you come to us — that’s the only advice we have.
“There’s really nothing to comment on at this point. Everything is coming from his camp so far. If that’s the way he feels, that’s great. But I don’t think we want to get wound up in this. We’re trying to focus on the playoffs.
“This process (with Bourque) will have a beginning, a middle and an end. He’s voiced these thoughts and sentiments that he is coming to Moncton. When all of the dots are joined then we can make a statement and be more concrete.”
Power said that Bourque could still join Moncton next season.
“Anything Chris Bourque can do for us will commence on August 15 (when training camp opens),” Power told the paper. “That’s next season. We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.”