Penguins place winger Bourque on waivers
The Chris Bourque experiment is apparently over.
Bourque, the son of legendary defenseman Ray Bourque, was placed on waivers by the Penguins on Friday. If another organization doesn’t claim Bourque by noon today, he will be assigned to the AHL’s Wilkes-Barre Penguins.
Bourque has played 20 games this season and, despite seeing considerable time on lines with Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal, hasn’t been able to score a goal. He does have three assists.
» Former Penguins RW Marian Hossa will return to Mellon Arena tonight in a Chicago Blackhawks uniform, which marks the fourth team he has played four in five seasons. There were no evident hard feelings in the Penguins locker room, though Bylsma acknowledged this does not have the feel of an ordinary regular season game.
“There will be a buzz tonight,” Bylsma said. “Hossa is in town, the Blackhawks have a great, young team. They are exciting. The players in our room have definitely been looking forward to his game. We don’t get to see Chicago very often.”
» Practice Friday was played before quite an unusual atmosphere. Mellon Arena, which is normally empty during the team’s practices, was occupied by approximately 7,000 students. The Penguins invited students ranging from Grades 1-8 from every school district in Allegheny County in an event that was sponsored by Highmark Healthy High 5.
“The kids were probably excited about two things,” winger Bill Guerin said. “They were excited to see the Penguins, and they were excited to get out of school.”
» The loser of the Penguins shootout contest at the end of practice often has to grow a mustache. On Friday, the loser was forced to retreat to the locker room, put on a pair of tennis shoes and walk through the crowd of students. The students almost got their wish, as Crosby was one of the final two contestants. But he finally scored, forcing defenseman Jay McKee into the crowd.
“I have to score, that’s what I was thinking,” Crosby said. “I don’t ever want to lose in a shootout. It was great to have the kids here, but I didn’t want to get trampled.”