Rene Bourque was born December 10, 1981 in Lac La Biche, Alberta. A free-agent signing of the Chicago Blackhawks in the summer of 2004, Bourque spent four seasons at the University of Wisconsin before making his professional debut during the 2004-05 season.
During his four seasons at Wisconsin, Bourque registered 57 goals and 40 assists for 97 points. In his first season as a professional, Bourque suited up for the AHL's Norfolk Admirals, capturing the Dudley Red Garrett Memorial Award as the league's top rookie and earning a spot on the AHL's All-Rookie Team. Bourque was named to the Canadian Team All-Stars for the 2005 AHL All-Star Game and finished the season with 60 points (33-27-60).
In 2005-06, Bourque made his NHL debut with the Blackhawks. He went on to compete in three seasons and notch 75 points in 183 career games in the Windy City. After his 2007-08 campaign, Bourque was dealt by Hawks to the Calgary Flames.
In his three complete seasons with the Flames, Bourque never failed to surpass the 20 goal mark and even posted consecutive campaigns of 27 goals.
On January 12,2012, Bourque's time in Calgary would come to an end when he was traded to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for sniper Michael Cammalleri.