With the passing of Luc Bourdon on May 29, something terrible happened for the Vancouver Canucks family and the residents of the Northern New Brunswick town of Shippagan. The entire Acadian population from the East Coast lost in a big way.
Being from PEI and an Acadian personally, I took a great interest in Bourdon’s hockey career and I was always very quick when the Bourdon name came up in conversation to point out that he was a fellow Acadian from the East Coast.
Even though I never met him, I was always extremely proud that he was an Acadian making it big in hockey.
As an avid fan of the sport of hockey, when a tragedy like this strikes, it hurts. I felt it in 2003, when Dan Snyder was killed in a horrible car crash and felt it earlier this season when Calgary Flames draft pick and Windsor Spitfire player Mickey Renaud passed away at age 19 while eating breakfast one Sunday morning.
These events often leave you wondering, why? That is the most difficult question to answer and perhaps there is no answer. There certainly is no way of understanding how these shining bright people can be taken from the world at such a young age.
Bourdon was destined to become a poster boy for Acadian hockey. Plain and simple, there were no others like him.
Being from a small town, not dissimilar to where I grew up, I can envision the pain and shock of all citizens, most of whom likely had known Bourdon in one way or another. I do not even want to begin imagining the ordeal that Luc’s mother, Suzanne, is going through having lost her only child.
Not having known Bourdon personally, I could not try and describe the type of person he was. The consensus, though, seems to be that he was a very caring and fun-loving young man.
I can comment on Luc Bourdon, the hockey player. He was on the cusp of being a full-time NHL hockey player. I was fortunate to have watched Luc a few times in his junior career and definitely enjoyed his style of play.
He was a tough defenseman, pretty rugged, tough to beat one on one and performed a good first pass out the zone. He could skate very well for his size and also provided admirably on the offensive side of the puck. He had the tools to become an NHL All-Star; now we’ll never know.
How important was Luc Bourdon for “l’Acadie”? He was a role model for the French youth of the East Coast, he was proof that no matter what your background and where you grow up, if you have the drive and determination anything is possible. Bourdon the hockey player will surely be missed by fans, but it is remembering Bourdon the person that will shed the most tears.
Luc tu seras manqué par l’Acadie entière, tu as fait une contribution à notre population que tu ne sauras jamais. Te est peut-être parti mais on ne t’oubliera jamais.