On the Hot Seat: Could Rene Bourque Be On the Move?

Steve McSween@dansallowsSenior Analyst IDecember 8, 2009

TORONTO, ON - NOVEMBER 14:  Rene Bourque #17 of the Calgary Flames skates after the puck in a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs on November 14,2009 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario. The Flames won 5-2. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
Claus Andersen/Getty Images

Now before all you hard core Bleacher Report fanatics post comments that say I have gone and hit the chronic worse than Snoop Dogg and completely smoked myself stupid, read the body of work below, as this entire scenario ain't as dumb as it sounds.

Rene Bourque has been nothing short of brilliant this season for the Calgary Flames, in fact through the first month of the season he carried the team offensively while Jarome Iginla and Olli Jokinen struggled to find their games.

Basically, Bourque has been the hockey equivalent to actor William H. Macy as he always seems to deliver a great performance, yet rarely gets any recognition.

He is second on the team in scoring with 22 points (7 goals and 15 assists), in 23 games.

That being said, he has been hurt more than a Nazareth song about love, something that limited him to 58 games last season.

This season, Bourque has already missed six of the clubs first 29 games, in which time the Flames went 5-0-1 without him.

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Not that 13-8-2 with Rene Bourque in the lineup isn't a horrible record by any means, but it doesn't help his situation going into the bargaining table.

Which brings us to my other point.

Bourque is a free agent this summer, and unless Darryl Sutter can lock him up to a contract, they aren't going to let him get away for nothing.

The Flames organization and their fans still have the bitter taste of Mike Cammalleri in their mouths.

So what is a one-time twenty-goal scorer who hasn't played more than 62 games in a season over the past three years worth anyways?

At 28-years old, it may be risky giving him anything more than $3 million per—unless you're the New York Rangers.

Heck, I like Rene Bourque, and would love to continue to watch him flourish as a member of the Calgary Flames, but he may just be their only trade bait in order to become a genuine contender.

Let's face it, this team is good, but they aren't in the leagues elite just yet.

Though with the parity of the "new" NHL, it is really anyone's Cup to win come June.

Yes this is all just speculation indeed.

But as Rene Bourque's pending free-agent status approaches, the NHL trade deadline does as well.

Darryl Sutter may not be in any hurry to make a move at all, as this Calgary Flames team could be the best one we have seen in years.

And if he truly believes that this bunch is the group that can get it done, then he may opt to sit idle rather than make a change.

Something the critics won't be able to judge until after the season is finished.

If Bourque has any value on the market though, one would have to believe the decision is a lot easier than it seems at first glance.

An often-injured player headed for free agency whom your team is 5-0-1 without. Well it doesn't take a genius, or an accused dope smoking Bleacher Report blogger to figure that one out.

Though I never thought the Philadelphia Flyers would be bad this season either, so that shows ya how much I know.