Thursday, February 16, 2012

Remembering Luc Bourdon

Name: Luc Bourdon
Position: Defense
Birthday: Feb 16, 1987 in  Shippagan, New Brunswick

Luc Bourdon was born in Shippagan, a small fishing community in New Brunswick, Canada. Raised by a single mother, he was an only child who was diagnosed with arthritis and confined to a wheelchair at age 9. He overcame arthritis to follow his passions in guitar and hockey, work with his uncle on a crab fishing boat, and earn straight-As in high school. Bourdon's skill and perseverance ultimately led him to be selected third overall by the Val d'Or Foreurs in the QMJHL entry draft in 2003.

In Val d'Or, Bourdon met one of his best friends, teammate and fellow defenseman Kris Letang. He had 8 and 32 points in 64 and 70 games respectively in his first two seasons in the Q, and was selected 10th overall by the Vancouver Canucks in the 2005 NHL entry draft. The Canucks sent Bourdon back to Val d'Or, where he was a ppg for 20 games before being traded to the Moncton Wildcats.

While in Moncton, Bourdon suffered an ankle injury from which he was supposed to take two years to recover. Instead, he made a full recovery in a year and led the Wildcats to the CHL Memorial Cup finals. During the 2005-2006 season, he also helped Team Canada win gold at the World Junior Championships with his friend Kris Letang.

After signing an entry-level contract with Vancouver, Bourdon started the 2006-2007 season in the NHL, but was sent back to the QMJHL after nine games. Thirteen games into his season with Moncton, he was traded to the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles. Bourdon reached the QMJHL semi-finals with Cape Breton, and was then sent to Manitoba (the Canucks' affiliate) to help the Moose compete in the AHL playoffs. That season, Bourdon returned to the World Junior Championships as Canada captured its third straight gold medal.

Bourdon played the majority of the 2007-2008 season with the Manitoba Moose, although he scored two goals in 27 games with Vancouver in the NHL.

A few weeks before May 27, 2008, Luc Bourdon told Kris Letang he had rode his father's motorcycle. He went and bought his own, and convinced Letang to do the same. The two planned a motorcycle tour for the following summer. On May 27, Bourdon was riding his bike around his hometown in New Brunswick. It was windy. He was inexperienced. He'd just gotten his license two weeks before. Bourdon lost control of his bike, hit a passing vehicle, and died instantly.

The same day, the Chicago Wolves and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins held a moment of silence during AHL's Calder Cup finals. A few days later, Letang's Pittsburgh Penguins held a moment of silence in their Stanley Cup Finals' game against the Detroit Red Wings. The Canucks' management wore guitar pins during the following year's NHL draft. During the Olympic break in 2010, Letang paid tribute to his friend:

Bourdon would've been 25 today. Rest in peace, Luc.


Sean Zandberg said...

Awesome tribute and remembrance! Thanks for sharing this!

gingersnowflake said...

Thanks Sean :)