Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Gabriel Bourque Autograph Card

Technically, at 25 years old, Gabriel Bourque should be entering his prime years as a point producer in the NHL. The diminutive winger - listed at 5'10" and 190 pounds, and while the weight seems right, he seems a couple of inches shorter than that in person - was drafted (132nd overall in 2009) by the Nashville Predators specifically because he was a point-per-game performer in Juniors, both in the regular season and the playoffs.

However, an undisclosed injury and added forward depth in the Preds' line-up have limited him to 22 games in Nashville (plus 4 with the Milwaukee Admirals on a conditioning stint); in fact, he only has 4 points to show for this year, partly because he's only averaging 12 minutes per game, down from nearly 16 just three seasons ago, when he had 11 goals and 16 points in 34 games.

He's quick and is as good setting up teammates as he is burying the puck in the net, but I do realize that having, say, both Bourque and Mike Ribeiro on the same line makes for a trio that is likely to get pushed around by rough teams such as the Anaheim Ducks.

Still, it must not have been easy for Bourque to be a healthy scratch since his call-up over a month ago, particularly considering his last NHL action was four minutes of play on November 27th.

He'll be a restricted free agent this summer and will have very little bargaining power.

Here he is in the Predators' awful yellow (home) uniform, on card #23 from Panini's 2012-13 Prime set (and Prime Signatures sub-set), which I traded for doubles of Peter Forsberg jersey cards last year:
He signed it on-card in blue sharpie, with his jersey number (57) tagged at the end. It's numbered 43/99.

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