PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Boston Bruins legend and Hall of Fame defenseman Ray Bourque has spent most Fridays and Sundays this winter watching his son Chris play for the Providence Bruins, Boston's AHL affiliate.
Now that the lockout is over and the NHL will begin a shortened season soon, Bourque hopes to see his son don a Bruins sweater.
Chris Bourque, 26, signed with the Bruins last offseason after spending the majority of his pro career in the Washington Capitals organization. The skilled forward has a total of 33 games of NHL experience, but hopes his play for the P-Bruins has helped his chances of playing for the same team his father did.
Bourque has played 32 games for Providence and has eight goals and 20 assists for 28 points.
“We hope he gets an opportunity. I think he has a good chance at getting an opportunity and it’s for him to make the best of it if he does,” Ray Bourque said. “He’s done pretty well down here of late and we’d love to see it. We’re all excited about the NHL being back and the possibilities Chris may have.
“I’d love to see it. I’d love going to the Garden to watch him play. We’ll wait and see.”
Bourque said he remained optimistic during this season’s lockout that the sides would eventually come to an agreement and the puck would drop.
“I always thought it would get settled and I thought it would be right around this time,” he said. “Last time I experienced it [1994-1995], it was the same case and I didn’t think they would let a season go the way they did in ’04, so I’m really happy hockey’s back and looking forward to watching it again.”
During the 1994-95 season, the league played a 48-game schedule, beginning on Jan. 19. Recently, Bruins president Cam Neely, a former teammate of Bourque's, said the hockey will be “fast and furious” once games started this season, similar to the way it was in ’95.
“It was busy, a few more games,” Bourque recalled. “Some weeks were a little more hectic, or more hectic than you usually have, but it was fine, it was great. It was real exciting to get back playing, knowing you’ve salvaged a season.”