Yesterday morning Chris Bourque thought he was going to be a member of an NHL roster for opening day tomorrow. And today, well, he is going to be on an NHL roster, just not the one he had thought.
Bourque, son of hall-of-famer Ray Bourque, was drafted 33rd overall in the 2004 draft by the Washington Capitals and has spent 4 seasons with their AHL affliate, the Hershey Bears. Monday morning Capitals head coach Bruce Boudrea informed Chris he had made the NHL squad by coyly asking him if he wanted to have dinner at his fathers house in Boston, the location of the Capitals season opener on Thursday night. Instead, Bourque will be on the home bench in Pittsburgh as the Penguins raise their 2009 Stanley Cup banner before their opener with the New York Rangers.
With the intent to open up some salary cap space and perhaps pick up some players off the waiver wire themselves, the Capitals placed Bourque on waivers Monday night. The team wasn't planning on demoting him to the AHL roster, they only needed to take his cap hit off the books for a day. Most teams passed on Bourque, but the Penguins, one of the later teams in the waiver order, and Washington's top rival, claimed him for their NHL roster. The transaction is bound to tweak the already cold relationship between the two franchises who meet last May in the second round of the playoffs, going 7 games before the Penguins advanced.
The Penguins and Capitals won't meet until January 21st, the first of 4 eventual regular season match-ups this season.
Bourque's Wait Is Over, as Left Wing Makes Caps Roster - The Washington Post
Penguins Claim Bourque, Lose Bissonnette - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette