Raymond Bourque is perhaps the best defenseman ever to play in the NHL, and spent twenty-one years playing for the Boston Bruins. A five-time Norris Trophy winner, he is destined to be enshrined in the Boston sports pantheon along with another great Bruins defenseman, Bobby Orr.

Ray wore jersey number 7, the number worn by Phil Esposito until it was retired, and Ray has worn number 77 ever since. No one in Boston has ever played in as many games or scored as many assists and points as Ray.

Late in the 1999-2000 season, Ray was traded to the Colorado Avalanche, in hopes that he can end his phenominal career with a lap around the rink holding the Stanley Cup high, because Jeremy Jacobs is too cheap to build a Cup-winning team for him to end his career in Boston. In the trade, however, Boston picked up a promising young forward, Brian Rolston.

Update (June 9, 2001): After twenty-two years in the NHL, Ray finally raised the Cup after the Avs defeated the Devils in seven games in the Stanley Cup Finals. Congratulations, Raymond, you earned it. Personal Note: I was in a bar in Boston when Joe Sakic quickly passed the Cup to Ray. There wasn't a dry eye in the house.

26 June 2001: Ray Bourque announced his retirement from professional hockey in a press conference today in Colorado. During the press conference, it was also announced that both the Colorado Avalanche and the Boston Bruins will retire his number (77). Ray Bourque leaves professional hockey after 22 seasons (20 with the Bruins, 2 with the Avalanche), and will be remebered as one of the greatest defensemen of all time.

His career numbers are as follows:

  • 410 Goals (all time leader amongst defensemen)
  • 1169 Assists
  • 1612 Games played
  • 5 Norris Trophies (best defenseman)
  • 19 All-star selections

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