It may sound taboo to Boston Bruins fans who had the pleasure of watching Ray Bourque’s Hall of Fame career, but do the Bruins now have a current version of Bourque in the making?
Despite the fact that CharlieMcAvoy still hasn’t won a Norris Trophy, and Bourque won five over 21 seasons in the NHL, Bourque’s former Boston Bruins teammate and current team president Cam Neely is starting to see ‘a lot’ of Bourque in the current Bruins alternate captain.
“I’m starting to see a lot, yeah,” Neely replied this past Monday when asked if he sees similarities between No. 73 and No. 77.
For Neely, what’s really starting to resemble Bourque in Charlie McAvoy is the way the 25-year-old is embracing a leadership role now on and off the ice.
“I mean, we talk about leadership. You can’t hope that someone’s going to be a leader because maybe they’re one of your better players; someone has to kind of come up and emerge and show you that they want to be a leader, but show you because of what they’re doing both on and off the ice. And Charlie [McAvoy] is certainly doing that,” Neely pointed out.
“He can log big minutes like Ray [Bourque] could, and defensively is strong… offensively is the area where he’s lagging a little bit from where Bourque was. Charlie [McAvoy]…I think we’d all like to see him shoot the puck more because he does have a good shot. I think he’d be more dangerous if he shoots the puck more…and that’s one thing that Ray loved to do, is shoot the puck. So, as someone that stands in front of the net and takes a beating, I loved that.”
Despite missing the first 13 games of last season following offseason shoulder surgery, McAvoy went on to have a stellar season with seven goals and 45 assists in 67 games. He added five assists in seven playoff games as well. This came after a career season that saw him score ten goals to go with 46 assists.
McAvoy was appraised of Neely’s assessment that McAvoy should shoot more a few days later.
“Yeah, well then, I should start shooting the puck more,” he said with a wide grin.
If McAvoy does shoot more, and those shots start to find the back of the net, you can expect more comparisons to Ray Bourque.