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Raymond Bourque was born on December 28th 1960 and was the longest serving Captain of the Boston Bruins, for which he played 21 seasons before being traded to the Colorado Avalanche and winning the Stanley Cup in 2001 before retiring from professional hockey.
Bourque currently holds the records for the most careers goals (410), assists (1169), and points 1579) by a defensemen in the National Hockey League.
Bourque’s jersey number, 77, is retired by both the Bruins and the Avalanche in honor of his contributions to both teams. However, when he debuted with the Bruins, he was wearing the number 7 which as worn by another Bruins legend Phil Esposito.
When the team took to the ice for the Esposito’s’ presentation, Bourque skated over to Esposito and removed his #7 jersey. He then handed it to Esposito in a symbolic gesture, effectively “surrendering” the number out of respect for everything Esposito accomplished while playing for the Bruins. The surprise was that Bourque had come out of the locker room wearing two jerseys; the second one, which he put beneath the jersey he gave to Esposito, carried number 77 on it and this was to be his new permanent number.
On March 6, 2000 Ray Bourque was traded to the Colorado Avalanche to give him a final shot at the Stanley Cup. They lost to the Dallas Stars that year and Bourque decided to return for one final season. Bourque came back to the Avalanche in the2000-01 season as an alternate Caption and the Avalanche advance all the way to the Stanley Cup finals against the New Jersey Devils. In a hard fought series, the Avalanche won it in seven games giving Ray Bourque his Stanley Cup Ring after 23 years in the NHL.
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