Centre Marc Bureau entered the 2001-02 season hoping to resume his career after a serious back injury the previous season. Prior to his injury he was considered in the upper echelon of defensive centres in the NHL.
Bureau starred with the St-Denis Jets of the Maritime Major Hockey League in 1982-83. He then moved on to the QMJHL where he was a solid two way player for three different franchises. He was signed as a free agent by the Calgary Flames after scoring 54 goals for Longueuil in 1986-87. He spent most of his first two pro seasons in the IHL and was eventually traded to the Minnesota North Stars since the Flames had Joe Nieuwendyk, Joel Otto, Jim Peplinski, and Carey Wilson at centre.
The solid pivot joined the Stars late in the 1990-91 schedule and was an important defensive player when the club reached the Stanley Cup finals. He played well in 1992-93 but was left unprotected in the Expansion Draft. The Tampa Bay Lightning quickly added Bureau to their inaugural roster and he went on to enjoy his three best seasons with the club.
In June 1995 he was traded to the Montreal Canadiens for veteran forward Brian Bellows. Bureau enjoyed three solid years with the Habs but his time there coincided with the franchise's decline. He played briefly in Philadelphia and Calgary then injured himself in practice as a member of the AHL's Saint John Flames in October 2000. The severity of the injury prevented Bureau from playing the rest of the year.