Veteran forward Rene Bourque played in just 49 games at the NHL level last year, putting up three goals and eight points in the process for the Columbus Blue Jackets.
While no team felt confident enough in his continued production to give him an outright NHL contract in free agency this summer, though, at least one team is willing to give him a shot at proving he still belongs in the league.
James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail reported on Thursday afternoon that Bourque, who boasts 660 career NHL games to his name thus far, has inked a professional tryout contract with the Colorado Avalanche. He’ll show up to training camp with the Central Division club in hopes of earning a full-time standard player deal with the team.
Undrafted at the NHL level, the 34-year-old forward has skated out with the Chicago Blackhawks, Calgary Flames, Montreal Canadiens, and Anaheim Ducks in addition to Columbus.
In his 660 games, he’s put up 151 goals and 298 points, although he hasn’t managed to play more than a half season since his 2013-14 campaign with Montreal. In the last two years, he’s played predominantly as an extra forward.
Although it doesn’t seem likely that the veteran will be able to compete for a true, top-12 forward roster spot, he has managed to at least produce decent offensive numbers as an extra forward during the last few seasons of his career. If Colorado is impressed, this could be a cheap way for them to add more veteran depth to their forward corps without truly taking spots away from potential prospect call-ups such as Mikko Rantanen.