LEWISTON — Ray Bourque’s first few steps into the Androscoggin Bank Colisee on Sunday were all it took before someone recognized him. It wasn’t long before the iconic Boston Bruins defenseman had a pen in his hand, signing game programs, shirts and hats as he made his way toward the visiting locker room.

But the hall-of-fame defenseman was at the Lewiston rink this weekend not as a working member of any hockey organization, but as a proud father. His youngest son, Ryan, was skating for the Quebec Remparts against the Lewiston Maineiacs.

“That’s one of the fun things about being retired,” Bourque said. “I’m busy at times, but I’m never too busy to keep up with the kids, especially when they come play in these parts.”

The youngest Bourque chose a different path in hockey than older brother Chris, who played one season for Boston University, earned a six-game tryout with the Washington Capitals and stuck in that organization.

“If that hadn’t worked out, he was going to play for the Moncton Wildcats in this league,” Bourque said. “But they signed him.”

The Pittsburgh Penguins claimed Chris Bourque off waivers this week. Meanwhile, Ryan faced the same decision this season. Committed to the University of New Hampshire, the younger Bourque chose instead to take the junior route and play for the Remparts.

“He wanted to go to Quebec, and he’s really enjoyed it so far,” Bourque said. “It’s a great place to play junior hockey and to learn, and he’s playing for Patrick Roy.”

Bourque said he and the hall-of-fame goaltender, who were teammates with the Colorado Avalanche for a Stanley Cup victory, keep in touch more about Ryan’s development than anything else.

“When I was playing and the Nordiques were around, Quebec was always my favorite place to go,” Bourque said. “I think it’s great Ryan gets a chance to experience playing there.”

Bourque also has fond memories of Lewiston and the Maineiacs. He dropped the ceremonial first puck in the team’s first regular-season game at the Colisee in 2003.

“I remember that day, I was here with Steve Kasper, it was their first game ever and it was nice to see them part of the Quebec major junior league, a league I played in for three years,” Bourque said.

“It’s a lot more fun being here today, though, because I get to see my son play,” he added.

Bourque’s biggest appointments outside of following his sons’ careers come from his work with TD Bank.

“I do some work with the Garden and luxury seating when the Bruins are playing,” Bourque said. “I’ll do maybe 10 games a year, I’ll host a pre-game reception and then go around to the luxury boxes and meet some great people. I’m also doing some work with TD Bank, I’m a spokesman for them.”

Still he said, he keeps tabs on the team that gave him his shot at fame, the Boston Bruins.

“I don’t think many people saw them winning the conference last year,” Bourque said. “Expectations have certainly gone up this year, and teams are definitely aware of how talented the Bruins are now. They’re not going to sneak up on anybody, and I think they’re up to that challenge.”


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