From Dave Molinari:
The Penguins have claimed forward Chris Bourque on waivers from Washington and lost rugged left winger Paul Bissonnette (above) on waivers to Phoenix.
Bourque is the son of Hall of Fame defenseman Raymond Bourque.
Bissonnette was waived Tuesday as part of an assignment to the Penguins' farm team in Wilkes-Barre.
Added by us:
Bissonnette appeared in 15 games with the NHL Penguins last season recording one assists and 22 penalty minutes. In 57 games with the AHL Penguins last season, Bissonnette had 16 points (nine goals, seven assists) and a team-leading 176 penalty minutes.
Hockeyfights.com credits Bissonnette with four fights in the NHL last season and 28 in the NHL. He was a fourth-round pick by the Penguins in 2003.
Bourque (right) appeared in eight games with the Capitals last season recording one goal. In 69 games with the Hershey Bears, Washington's AHL affiliate, Bourque had 71 points (21 goals, 52 assists). Bourque helped the Bears win the Calder Cup, the AHL's championship, by scoring 21 points (five goals, 16 assists) in 22 postseason games.
Bourque, 23, was a second round pick (No. 33 overall) in the 2004 draft. He is expected to remain on the Penguins' NHL roster to start the season.
The Washington Post reported yesterday that Bourque was placed on waivers due to salary cap concerns.
UPDATE: Tarik El-Bashir of the Washington Post spoke to Bourque on the move.
-"I'm excited and sad at the same time. The organization has done so much for me, whether it was in Hershey or Washington. I won two Calder Cups in Hershey and scored my first NHL goal in Washington. Some of my best memories playing hockey have been in this organization. At the same time, I'm excited to get a chance with Pittsburgh. They won the Stanley Cup last year and they'll be raising the banner Friday night [against the Rangers.] That will be fun. Hopefully, I can stick with the big club the whole season."
-"I always had my best success in the minors was against the Wilkes Barre Penguins. I always put up points against them, obviously I played against [Pittsburgh Coach Dan Bylsma] so he knows how I play."
VIDEO: This clip is really fuzzy, but here's Bourque's only career NHL goal. It came in a 4-2 defeat of the Sabres, Dec. 30, 2008:
EN Says: Once he gets used to the Penguins' system, Bourque is a legit candidate to get some time on the Penguins' top two lines. He has shown an ability to score regularly at the AHL level and were it not for Michael Nylander's contract fouling things up, he would've been on the Capitals' season-opening roster. Bourque's biggest assets are his stickhandling and skating. His biggest downside is his lack of size (5-foot-9, 173 pounds).
Fans are going to miss "Biz Nasty." He was a consumate, team-first player who played with every ounce of his heart. And given how he fought his way up from Wheeling of the ECHL (literally), he was an easy guy to root for. But he was very limited in what he could offer the Penguins. And as long as Eric Godard was on the NHL roster, Bissonnette was going to have trouble finding regular work with the Penguins.
The Coyotes don't have true enforcer. Bissonnette should have a much easier time making their roster.
(Photo: Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press)