Bears to retire Bourque’s number 17

JustSports Photography/AHL

The Hershey Bears have announced that Chris Bourque will have his number 17 retired in an on-ice ceremony prior to the club’s home game against Springfield on January 14, 2023.

Bourque will become the eighth player in franchise history to have his number retired, joining Frank Mathers (#3), Ralph Keller (#3), Mike Nykoluk (#8), Arnie Kullman (#9), Tim Tookey (#9), Willie Marshall (#16) and Mitch Lamoureux (#16).

“Chris Bourque is one of the greatest players to ever wear the Chocolate and White, and it’s only fitting that his number 17 be raised to the rafters among the finest players in our organization’s rich history,” said Bears vice president of hockey operations Bryan Helmer. “Chris is synonymous with the success the Bears enjoyed during his playing days, and the impact he had in Chocolatetown is timeless.”

Bourque played nine seasons with Hershey, and ranks fifth in franchise history with 586 points over 604 games in a Bears uniform. He is the only Bears player ever to win three Calder Cups with the club, capturing titles in 2006, 2009 and 2010.

Bourque ranks 20th all-time in AHL scoring with 746 total points; each of the 19 players ahead of him have been elected to the AHL Hall of Fame. He also sits 12th with 495 assists, and tied for 40th with 251 goals. Bourque won AHL MVP honors in 2015-16 and captured two scoring titles (2011-12, 2015-16), and was the MVP of the 2010 Calder Cup Playoffs.

The 2018 U.S. Olympian also played in a record-tying six AHL All-Star Classics (2009, 2012, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018), and was named a First Team AHL All-Star three times.

In addition to his regular-season scoring, Bourque is the AHL’s all-time leader in playoff assists (82) and ranks fourth in points (117) and second in games played (133) in Calder Cup Playoff history.