Raymond Jean Bourque (December 28, 1960-) waited longer than any player in NHL history to hoist the coveted Stanley Cup, doing so in the 1,826th and final game of his career as a member of the Colorado Avalanche in 2001. After playing three years in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, amassing 56 goals and 164 assists in 204 games, the Boston Bruins selected Bourque with the eighth overall pick of the 1979 NFL Entry Draft. Ray immediately awed teammates and opponents as he racked up 65 points (most ever by a rookie) in his first season in Boston en route to the Calder Trophy for the NHL’s Rookie of the Year. Bourque was a dual-threat as a sniper from the point on power plays and a superbly skilled defenseman, stifling oncoming forwards and attackers. His ability to take control of a play in either end to set up a scoring play for his team was uncanny. He also earned his first of 13 NHL All-Star First Team selections that season, making him the first player, other than a goaltender, to win rookie of the year honors and first team notoriety in the same year. Ray Bourque played twenty years in Boston (1979-2000), twelve of which he was the Bruins’ captain, and two years with the Colorado Avalanche (2000-2001).
Ray is a five-time Norris Trophy winner, honoring the NHL’s top defensemen and won the 1992 King Clancy Memorial Trophy recognizing his natural leadership abilities on the ice and humanitarian contributions off the ice. He led the Bruins to two Stanley Finals in 1988 and 1990 falling to the high-powered Edmonton Oilers on both occasions. Ray surpassed Wayne Gretzky’s 17 appearances, as he was elected to 19 consecutive NHL All-Star Games. His passion and respect for the game was evident each time contract negations began and were on full display in December of 1987 when he relinquished his uniform #7 as the Boston retired fellow Hall of Famer and Bruins great Phil Esposito’s number. It was that evening that Bourque embraced the number 77 for the remainder of his career. He joined Colorado in search of a ring and accomplished the dream in his second season, retiring shortly thereafter. Ray Bourque finished his career as the most prolific scoring defenseman the game has ever seen, tallying 410 goals and 1,169 assists for 1,579 points in 1,612 regular season games. He added 41 career playoff goals and 139 assists in 214 playoff games. Ray Bourque was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2004, his first year of eligibility.