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January 28, 2018

Unknown Canadians: Rene Bourque

Rene Bourque may be the best known 2018 Canadian Olympian. The veteran of 725 NHL games, most notably with Calgary but also with Chicago, Montreal, Anaheim, Columbus and Colorado is not exactly a stranger to NHL fans.

"He's inconsistent at times," veteran hockey scribe Eric Duhatschek recalls. "There were times in the NHL when he scored a lot for two weeks, then for three weeks, you couldn't find him."

But, as Duhatschek told the CBC, "But this guy is motivated, strictly to play for Canada in these Olympics."

'What will it take for me to make the Olympics?' is the question Bourque directly asked Team Canada general manager Sean Burke.

 "He's a guy who phoned Sean Burke last summer and asked, what will it take for me to make the Olympics? And Sean said, well, the first thing he said was, what you have to do is play. But if you find a team to play for, we will go watch you.

"So he went to [Djurgardens] Sweden," Duhatschek continued. "The pay's not great there, but Sean told me, we went there, we watched him, he was the best player in every game we saw. Played hard. Big, strong physical guy."

And that's how the bilingual native of Lac La Biche, Alberta became a Canadian Olympian.

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