Bourque Re-signs With Avalanche

Posted: June 15, 2000

Ray Bourque, traded to Colorado in March after more than 20 years in Boston, passed up the chance to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 and signed a one-year, $5.5 million contract with the Avalanche yesterday.

His decision came less than three weeks after Colorado and the 39-year-old defenseman were eliminated by the Dallas Stars in Game 7 of the Western Conference finals.

Bourque, who made $6 million last year, has an option for a second full season with Colorado, but he was not ready to commit to playing two more years in the NHL.

The five-time Norris Trophy-winning defenseman asked the Bruins to trade him late last season to a Stanley Cup contender. They obliged and received forward Brian Rolston and a pair of minor-leaguers for Bourque and forward Dave Andreychuk.

Bourque had 18 goals and 34 assists in 79 games last season, including eight goals and six assists in 14 games with the Avalanche.

Devils. More than 40,000 New Jersey fans turned out in a parking lot at the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford to celebrate the Devils' second Stanley Cup championship in six seasons.

The victory celebration featured a laser light show, the presentation of the Cup, video highlights of the team's season, and player introductions.

Sabres. Buffalo will not exercise its contract option on Rob Ray, allowing the forward to become an unrestricted free agent, the team said.

Ray, 32, who has been with Buffalo his entire 11-year career, can negotiate a new contract with another club after July 1. He had a goal, three assists, and 168 penalty minutes in 69 games in the 1999-2000 season, when he made $800,000. The 168 penalty minutes increased his career total to 2,687 and moved him into the top 10 in NHL history.

Panthers. Florida signed forward Denis Shvidki, its first-round pick in the 1999 draft, to a three-year contract.

Financial terms of the contract weren't disclosed. The maximum annual entry-level salary for players drafted in 1999 is $1.03 million.

Shvidki, the 12th overall pick, finished fourth among all scorers in the Ontario Hockey League with 41 goals and 65 assists in 61 games with the Barrie Colts last season.

MVP finalists. No defenseman has won the Hart Memorial Trophy as the NHL's most valuable player since Bobby Orr in 1972.

Chris Pronger of the St. Louis Blues will see what he can do about that. Pronger, Pavel Bure of the Florida Panthers, and Jaromir Jagr of the Pittsburgh Penguins are the candidates vying for the league's top honor, which will be announced during its banquet tonight in Toronto.

Blue Jackets. Doug MacLean, president and general manager of the Columbus expansion team, said he doesn't expect to hire a head coach until after the June 24-25 entry draft.

The Booth News Service reported yesterday that Detroit Red Wings associate coach Dave Lewis had interviewed twice for the Blue Jackets' job.

Other candidates include former Phantoms coach Bill Barber, former Calgary Flames head coach Dave King, former Edmonton coach Ron Low, ex-San Jose assistant Paul Baxter, and Los Angeles assistant Dave Tippett.

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