BOSTON – Ray Bourque skated in a franchise-record 1,518 NHL games for the Boston Bruins during his Hall of Fame career.
When the Bruins open the 2013 season Saturday night against the New York Rangers at TD Garden, the legend’s son Chris should have just 1,517 to catch up to his pop.
The younger Bourque, with 33 NHL games over three seasons on his resume entering this season, joined the Bruins in a trade last summer. He earned a roster spot during Boston’s one-week training camp and should open the game against the Rangers on a line with center Chris Kelly and right winger Rich Peverley.
Bourque previously played one NHL regular-season game in the Garden – when he was with Pittsburgh in 2010.
“It was great obviously coming back playing in front of friends and family. It’s different when you’re the road team, you don’t to spend too much time around the city. It was a good experience. But I’m happy I’m on this side now,” he said after the Bruins’ morning skate.
Bourque anticipates at least 30-40 friends and family, from both the Boston area and Montreal, will be in the building using tickets he and his family secured. There should be plenty other people he knows on hand as well -- he grew up in Boston and attended Boston University for one season.
It’s been a long time since his earliest days hanging out with the Bruins.
“I grew up in this locker room here and the one that was in the building right next door that’s not here anymore,” he said. “So just skating on the ice before the team. Not wanting to get off but getting kicked off before practice, but coming in here and running around, probably pissing off all the trainers and that sort of stuff.”
Bourque and rookie Dougie Hamilton are set to make their debuts with the Bruins. Adam McQuaid, who underwent offseason surgery to treat a blood clot, has been medically cleared to play, according to coach Claude Julien.
Here’s the Bruins projected lineup:
Milan Lucic - David Krejci - Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Tyler Seguin
Chris Bourque - Chris Kelly - Rich Peverley
Daniel Paille - Gregory Campbell - Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara - Johnny Boychuk
Dennis Seidenberg - Dougie Hamilton
Andrew Ference - Adam McQuaid