Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Bob Bourne
Bob Bourne was one of the anomalies in the history of the NHL Amateur Draft. After an excellent junior career with Saskatoon in the western league, he was selected 38th overall by the expansion Kansas City Scouts in the 1974 draft. But before he ever played a game with the Scouts or their affiliates, he was traded to the New York Islanders for Bart Crashley and Larry Hornung. That his career lasted 964 games ranks him beside Doug Jarvis (Toronto to Montreal) as one of the two most successful players to be traded and drafted in the same summer. The man who made the trade for Bourne was Islanders general manager Bill Torrey, the genius who was quickly shaping the team into a Stanley Cup dynasty. Although Bourne spent his entire rookie season with the Islanders, he spent most of his sophomore season in the minors with Fort Worth before making the grade for good in 1976-77. He had excellent speed and offensive skills, but perhaps his greatest weakness was low self-confidence. Playing with the likes of Bryan Trottier and Mike Bossy, he didn't think he had the capability to score 30 or 40 goals, though Torrey, coach Al Arbour and his teammates disagreed.

An important quality Bourne brought to the team was focused determination, a characteristic that he acquired naturally from private life. His son Jeffrey suffered from spina bifida and required constant care and attention, and Bourne appreciated perhaps more than most NHL players how lucky he was to have the gifts that allowed him to play in the NHL. During his prime years, the Islanders won the Cup four consecutive times, from 1980 to 1983 and Bourne's leadership was a key ingredient in all of those wins.

During the peak of that dynasty, Bourne was invited to Team Canada's training camp for the 1981 Canada Cup, but after a few days at camp, he left. He was a free agent, and he feared an injury would jeopardize both his career and his ability to support his family, upon whom so much of his life relied. His free-agent status at this time came during the era of equal compensation in the NHL, so although he was voted the fourth-best left winger in the game, there were no offers for his services because other teams were afraid to risk losing their own star players of equal value to the Islanders. He re-signed with Long Island and remained there another six seasons.

Although Bourne had three 30-goal seasons and 258 career goals, it wasn't until his 699th career game that he scored his first hat-trick, in a 5-1 win over New Jersey. He scored each goal under different circumstances: one at even strength, one on a power-play and one shorthanded. And he did it using the borrowed stick of teammate Stefan Persson, using white tape instead of black for the first time in his career -- serendipitous decisions that all contributed to a career highlight night.


REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP PIM
1971-72 Saskatoon Blades WCJHL 63 28 32 60 36 8 3 7 10 2
1972-73 Saskatoon Blades WCJHL 66 40 53 93 74 16 7 10 17 30
1973-74 Saskatoon Blades WCJHL 63 29 42 71 41 6 3 2 5 12
1974-75 New York Islanders NHL 77 16 23 39 12 +9 9 1 2 3 4
1975-76 New York Islanders NHL 14 2 3 5 13 -2
1975-76 Fort Worth Texans CHL 62 29 44 73 80
1976-77 New York Islanders NHL 75 16 19 35 30 +27 8 2 0 2 4
1977-78 New York Islanders NHL 80 30 33 63 31 +15 7 2 3 5 2
1978-79 New York Islanders NHL 80 30 31 61 48 +34 10 1 3 4 6
1979-80 New York Islanders NHL 73 15 25 40 52 +5 21 10 10 20 10
1980-81 New York Islanders NHL 78 35 41 76 62 +34 14 4 6 10 19
1981-82 New York Islanders NHL 76 27 26 53 77 +27 19 9 7 16 36
1982-83 New York Islanders NHL 77 20 42 62 55 +14 20 8 20 28 14
1983-84 New York Islanders NHL 78 22 34 56 75 +12 8 1 1 2 7
1984-85 Canada Can-Cup 8 0 3 3 0
1984-85 New York Islanders NHL 44 8 12 20 51 -8 10 0 2 2 6
1985-86 New York Islanders NHL 62 17 15 32 36 -7 3 0 0 0 0
1986-87 Los Angeles Kings NHL 78 13 9 22 35 -13 5 2 1 3 0
1987-88 Los Angeles Kings NHL 72 7 11 18 28 -31 5 0 1 1 0
NHL Totals 964 258 324 582 605 139 40 56 96 108


CHL Second All-Star Team (1976)
Bill Masterton Trophy (1988) Played in NHL All-Star Game (1981)
Traded to NY Islanders by Kansas City for the rights to Larry Hornung and future considerations (Bart Crashley, September 16, 1974), September 10, 1974. Claimed by Los Angeles from NY Islanders in Waiver Draft, October 6, 1986.
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