Luc Bourdon, a rookie defensemen for the NHL Vancouver Canucks who also played for the AHL Montreal Moose, was killed yesterday in a motorcycle crash. He was 21. In 27 games, he scored twice – his first against Niklas Backstrom on November 16, 2007. He was drafted 10th overall in the first round in 2005 and won two gold medals for Canada at the World Junior Championships in 2006 and 2007.
When I heard about this story from the other Ladies…, like many I was sad. Then I wanted to know more about him. His death reminds us that overcoming adversity and staying true to your hometown roots is what makes a true hero. And that there is more to life than hockey, and more to hockey than the mere names and faces we see on the ice. Bourdon overcame crippling juvenile arthritis as a child to play. He was raised by his mother and didn’t have a relationship with his biological father; he didn’t have anyone to take on the father-son trip with the Canucks in March. I am sure there is much more I and many will never know about him.
Iain MacIntyre of the Vancouver Sun put it well:
“When Bourdon was alive, most viewed him as a player-commodity. Now that he’s dead, we discover the person.”
“There was no quit in him,” said Kent Hughes, his agent. “He persevered through a lot. He was a great guy and a great teammate.” Paul Kelly, executive director of the players’ union, said, “Through hard work and perseverance, Luc was able to realize his dream of becoming an NHL player. Luc has a promising life and career ahead of him and he will certainly be missed.” The Canucks general manager issued a statement also:
“Luc was an extremely talented player with a bright future. He brought great passion to the game and was a valued team member on and off the ice.”
Perhaps seeing him do what he loved best will help. Look on to see him in action.
Let’s remember him in his life with what he did with it, while wondering what would have come had he not died too young.