Newspaper article The Canadian Press

New Acquired Winger Bourque Hopes for a Long Stay with Canadiens: Bourque Looks to Long Term Stay in Montreal

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

New Acquired Winger Bourque Hopes for a Long Stay with Canadiens: Bourque Looks to Long Term Stay in Montreal

Article excerpt

MONTREAL - Rene Bourque hopes he will settle in for a long stay with the Montreal Canadiens.

The left-winger who was obtained in a trade with the Calgary Flames for sniper Michael Cammalleri this week had his first skate with his new teammates at the Bell Centre on Saturday.

"I still haven't had the chance to look around at all the plaques on the walls and the Stanley Cup banners, but it's exciting," the 30-year-old said. "I always wanted to play here.

"I'm hoping I'll be here for the rest of my contract. Find a home and make this a place I'll be for a long time."

Bourque had to miss the Canadiens' game Saturday night against the Ottawa Senators to complete the five-game suspension he incurred while with the Flames for elbowing Washington's Nicklas Backstrom in the jaw. He is to play his first game Sunday night against the visiting New York Rangers. Then he gets to face the Capitals again on Wednesday night.

Forward Scott Gomez, who has missed 30 games since late October with injuries, most recently a groin, was cleared to return to the lineup against Ottawa. He was to play on left wing with centre Tomas Plekanec and either Erik Cole or Michael Blunden.

It was Bourque's second suspension in a month, having missed two games only two weeks earlier for a hit from behind on Chicago's Brent Seabrook.

Bourque, who averages US$3.3 per season, is signed for another four years after this season.

The Canadiens gave up Cammalleri's goal-scoring talent in a bid to get bigger and grittier with the six-foot-two, 210-pound Bourque. Coach Randy Cunneyworth, who is beginning to put his stamp on the team he took over from the fired Jacques Martin last month, wants to play a strong forechecking game and hopes Bourque will fit that plan.

"I haven't really talked to Randy about where I'll fit in yet," said Bourque. "l just play my game, get physical, get in the dirty areas, get in front of the net. …

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