Chris Bourque is a 'tweener -- very good at the AHL level but hasn't established himself as NHL'er. It appears he'll get the chance in Pittsburgh. The writing was on the wall yesterday when the Penguins waived all of their bubble players. And it makes sense: Bourque is years younger than Chris Conner or Ryan Bayda and could potentially be a contributor at the NHL level.
Over at Japers Rink there will be a lot bitterness they'll show at losing Bourque for nothing....And losing him to Pittsburgh on top of that! Whether the Pens have picked the Capitals pocket for a significant piece to the puzzle remains to be seen, but Bourque could be effective for the Pens. Aggravating a rival is nice, but "CBo" is a legitimate guy to play for the Pens this season -- his cap hit of $578,000 is nice and he's young.
If you've never seen Bourque play, he's almost a mix of a Max Talbot/Tyler Kennedy smallish player that works very hard and is a very fast skater. He'll hit, he'll run around a lot out there and he'll do what he can to help the team. Obviously Bourque has some limitations in size and skill, but given the choice he's a better player and has a lot more potential than a Bayda or Conner.
But the waiver wire give-th and the waiver wire take-th as Phoenix has reportedly claimed Paul Bissonnette. Bissonnette had a wild ride in the Penguins organization -- few remember but he was actually one of the last cuts in 2003 as a defenseman. Then a couple years in junior and some middling years between the ECHL and AHL that saw him switch to forward and pickup a role as a fighter with the "Biz Nasty" moniker. After some outlandish behavior (like wearing a professional wrestling championship belt during pre-game warmups) Bissonnette fell out of favor with management and was actually sent hom from camp and wait for a trade. The trade never came because no one wanted him and somehow he got over that impasse and became a model player for Wilkes-Barre and Pittsburgh.