Friday, October 12, 2012

Bourdon again 10/12

There's a story in today's paper on Brandon Manning, who really came alive after playing in the NHL last season, but I also wanted to share some notes from a conversation I had with Phantoms defenseman Marc-Andre Bourdon earlier this week. What a whirlwind the past few months have been for him.

It started in a New Year's Day game at Albany, when he was concussed a fight with Albany's Dan Kelly. I found some video of it online and it gets pretty scary at about the 25-second mark.

That knocked Bourdon out of action for about two months and when he came back in March, he was shipped to the ECHL. At the time, Bourdon had been struggling offensively and the Phantoms had Erik Gustafsson, Kevin Marshall, Danny Syvret and Dan Jancevski ahead of him on the depth chart.

The move made some sense from a hockey operations standpoint, but that didn't make it any easier to handle. Bourdon could have pouted when the got sent to the lower minors -- a lot of players do -- but the transaction really seemed to motivate him. He fought in his first game back and earned a brief call-up back to the Phantoms, but got sent back to the ECHL to help Greenville in its 2011 playoff run.

Then in November, the Flyers defense got hit by injuries. Eight months after he was first assigned to the ECHL, he got a call-up to Philadelphia and stuck, finishing the year with 45 games played. That demotion, if you really think about it, may have resurrected Bourdon's professional hockey career.

His thoughts on the sequence after the jump.

On his 2011-12 season and what changed after the fight with Dan Kelly:
“I got my injury after that fight and I went down to the (ECHL). You have to always believe in yourself, you know? I think that’s the main thing in life. Maybe some people stopped believing in me – I didn’t have much to show for it either – I think I just had a talk with myself and I just thought I was wasting my opportunity. I worked harder and changed my attitude and here I am.”
On how he parlayed his demotion to the ECHL into an NHL spot with Philadelphia:
“I just tried to help the team win. We didn’t win, but I think I played hard. I fought a couple times and I did what I had to do. In the summer, I worked pretty hard and I got called up last season with the Flyers. I think I just grabbed my chance, you know?”
On the lockout and the opportunities it creates for the Phantoms:
“Obviously, there’s going to be more people watching. I think we all like to play hockey and we’re all happy that we can play hockey. It was a tough training camp. Some guys I thought would make the team got sent down to Trenton. Some guys that were here last season got sent down. It was hard to make the team. I think everyone’s happy to make it now. When it starts, it’s going to be fun. There’s going to be more TV time, there’s going to be more fans. It’s just positive things.”
Until next time,


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