HERSHEY, PA – We were told NOT to expect it, but in the words of the famous reality TV show, Survivor, “Expect the Unexpected” – Hershey has re-signed Chris Bourque to a one-year AHL deal with the Bears that allows the option for a second year as well!
VP of Hockey Operations, Bryan Helmer, said in the release, “We are beyond thrilled to have Chris Bourque return to Hershey for the 2017-18 season.”
Throughout the year, whispers of Bourque wishing to stay in Hershey and retire abounded. The 31-year-old was a 2nd round draft pick by the Capitals in 2004 and, while he’s only appeared in 51 total NHL games, his body of work on the ice in the AHL, particularly in Hershey, is worthy of nominations to the Hall of Fame for both Hershey and the AHL.
This past season, we saw him break records and achieve milestones that many only dream about. He’s played a remarkable 540 regular season games with the Bears. He broke the 500-point plateau with the Bears this season as well (179 goals and 354 assists). He leads the organization in points in the playoffs with 86 (although we collectively jumped the gun on that as #86 was credited initially, but then adjusted). He’s also 5th in team history in assists, 7th in points, and is tied for 9th in goals. He’s won three Calder Cups with the Bears (2006, 2009, 2010) and has numerous other accomplishments.
This past season, he served as one of Hershey’s alternate captains and took part in Hockey in Heels, where he and captain Garrett Mitchell were part of a panel with Helmer, who was Bourque’s teammate for the 2009 and 2010 Calder Cup Championships.
He currently also leads the AHL in all-time scoring with 639 points, a mark he will surely raise this coming season.
Bourque is also happy to be back in the chocolate and white. In the release, he said, “My family and I are very excited to be coming back. We really do love Hershey. We’ve had some great memories here and we’re looking forward to building some new ones going forward…Every night I get to put that sweater on is an honor for me.”
The full release is available on Hershey’s webpage along with information to order tickets. Yesterday, the club announced six guaranteed home dates. We also put together a Fan’s Guide to Giant Center and Hershey for anyone looking to make the trip up from the DMV area.
By Julie Beidler
— Hershey Bears (@TheHersheyBears) June 20, 2017