One man can only do so much, and Alex Bourret did everything short of leading the Reign back into the playoffs.
From the time he arrived in late December, he gave the Reign as good a top-line left wing as any team in the ECHL’s Western Conference. The 24-year-old former first-round NHL draft pick (Atlanta, 2005) racked up goals, assists and fights with equal aplomb, finishing with 12 goals, 37 points and 68 penalty minutes in 42 games.
His time in Ontario was memorable — but could prove to be short-lived.
Did you achieve your goal of getting your career back where you wanted it?
Yeah, I did pretty good. I wanted to get the team into the playoffs, but it didn’t happen. But I just had my meeting with Karl. The team’s pretty happy with the way I played, I was off the ice too. I did pretty good in that part. I don’t know about next year, but this year I’m pretty happy with what I did.
What is on the table for you next year; where do you see yourself?
I’d like to play in the AHL if that’s possible, but we’ll see. I’m going to take a good two weeks off and make sure I make the right decision after.
Would you like to stay in North America?
I’d like to, but if there’s nothing, Europe’s pretty nice. There are a couple places I’d like to go. If I get the right call I’d like to go there (Europe). I played in the Czech Republic for 17 games, came back to Vegas, and I went to South Korea this year, came here after. I traveled a lot. It’s fun, you see different things and different hockey. It’s faster. There’s no hitting, no fighting, just a fast game. I like it there.
But you like to fight.
I like to fight too, so I want to stay here maybe and get to fight more.
If Karl brought the core group back, do you think this team could pick up where it left off?
Yeah. They’re a nice group of guys. They’re young, but I’m pretty sure if they bring the same group of guys next year, they’re always better the second year. They worked until the end. Now they know what to do to make the playoffs, so it’s starting in October. If they bring the same guys, they’ll work from the start until the end. I’m sure he’s not going to bring all of us but most will come back for sure.
Once Karl put you and Jordan Morrison on the same line, you really took off no matter who was on right wing – you guys were all clicking?
I played with him on Team Canada before, in 2003 or ’04 for under-17. He was my roommate, too. I was living with him for a good two weeks. It was in Czech, something like that. I’ve known him for a long time and we were playing good there too. We got lucky. We’re good buddies off the ice too, we’re always together, so it’s easy to go and play with him after. We know each other pretty good.
That was seven years ago, but the chemistry clicked right away?
Yeah it was there. he’s a good player. He’s pretty slow so it’s easy to play with him. He’s a great guy. He led the team in points, you can see he’s got good points. I’m sure he can fit with everyone.
Will you try to pull off a package deal with Morrison?
We talk about it, but there’s no package deals. I’d like to play with him if possible. But if I’m going somewhere else and he’s going somewhere it happens. We had a chance to play together. I’m sure I’ll give him a call and see where he’s going. We’ll see if he’s back or not.