Growing up, Bourque was a Montreal Canadiens fan and played his minor hockey within the Quebec system with the Sorel and Verdun Eperviers of the QMJHL. Bourque was the first round choice, eight overall, of the Boston Bruins in 1979 and joined the NHL that fall. In his rookie season he won the Calder Trophy as the best first year player, scoring 65 points in 80 games. Through out the 1980s Bourque would continue to grow as an NHL defenseman and anchor the Bruins defense for twenty years. Playing in Boston, he was always overshadowed by the Boston Celtics and compared to Bobby Orr, probably the best defenseman to have every played hockey. Bourque broke Gordie Howe's record for most All-Star nominations and won the Norris trophy as the league's best defenseman five times. He also played for Team Canada in three Canada Cup tournaments; 1981, 1984, and 1987.
In his twenty year stint with the Boston Bruins, Ray Bourque led the team in scoring on five different occasions and became one of three NHL defensemen to have scored over 300 goals. He became only the sixth defenseman in NHL history to score 30 goals in a season, accomplishing the feat in the 1983-84 season and became only the fifth player to notch 1,000 assists in the 1997-98 season. Bourque became captain of the Bruins in 1988-89 and led the Bruins to two Stanley Cup final appearances in 1988 and 1990. Even though the Boston team was always very competitive and near the top of league standings, the Stanley Cup Championship would elude Bourque when he was in Boston. In March 2000, the perrenial Bruin was traded along with Dave Andreychuck to the Colorado Avalanche for Brian Rolston, prospects Martin Grenier and Samual Pahlsson, and Colorado's first round choice in either the 2000 or 2001 Entry Draft.
In Colorado Ray would continue to make his mark, adding to his NHL accomplishments including his 19th consecutive All-Star appearence, surpassing Wayne Gretzky for the league record. He also accomplished something he had failed to with the Bruins in two decades, win a Stanley Cup championship. He was an integral part of the 2001 Cup winning Avalanche team and retired after hoisting Lord Stanley's mug. A Hall of Fame induction is all but guaranteed for one of hockey's greatest defensemen.
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