In this edition of Colorado Avalanche Throwback Thursday, we take a look at the trade that brought Raymond Bourque to Denver.
Pierre Lacroix had a history of making a big trade to put the Colorado Avalanche over the top in hopes of capturing the Stanley Cup. Some of them worked (Patrick Roy in 1996) while others didn’t (Theoren Fleury in 1998), but Lacroix was never shy about pulling the trigger.
On March 6, 2000; Lacroix pulled the trigger on a trade that brought longtime Boston Bruin Ray Bourque to the Colorado Avalanche. Bourque, who was drafted by the Bruins in 1979 played 21 seasons with Boston, but never raised the Stanley Cup. With the Bruins fading during the 1999-2000 season, Bourque requested a trade that would give him one more opportunity to capture the NHL’s holy grail. Boston Bruins GM Harry Sinden shipped Bourque, along with veteran Dave Andreychuk to Denver for Brian Rolston, Martin Grenier, Sammy Pahlsson, and a first round pick. Sinden told Ray, “This may not be your first choice, but this is the team I feel is best.”
Bourque’s impact was immediate. He put up 14 points in 14 games, was smart in his own end, and had a huge impact in a locker room that was already filled with leaders such as Adam Foote, Patrick Roy, and Joe Sakic. He helped the Avs capture another Northwest Division title and finish third in the Western Conference.
Unfortunately, the team ultimately failed as they lost in game seven of the Western Conference Finals to the Dallas Stars. Bourque had a chance to tie the game in the final seconds, but hit the post as the Avs fell 3-2 in Dallas.
Bourque returned to the Avs for one more season, and this time went out on top. But that’s another story for another Thursday.