Canucks rookie Bourdon, 21, killed in motorcycle crash

Updated: May 30, 2008, 11:56 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

SHIPPAGAN, New Brunswick -- Luc Bourdon, a promising rookie defenseman with the Vancouver Canucks, was killed Thursday when his motorcycle struck a tractor-trailer in a crash near his hometown. He was 21.

His death was confirmed by sister Eve Bourdon and stepmother Maryse Godin. Both declined further comment when reached at the family's home in Shippagan.

"Luc was a winner; he was a competitor," said Kent Hughes, his agent. "There was no quit in him. He persevered through a lot. He was a great guy and a great teammate."

On Friday, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman announced there would be a moment of silence prior to the Red Wings-Penguins Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals on Saturday.

"The National Hockey League family grieves with the family, friends and teammates of Luc Bourdon. We send heartfelt condolences to the Vancouver Canucks' organization and the community of Shippagan, N.B.," Bettman said in a statement. "To honor a young life ended long before its promise could be fulfilled, a moment of silence will be observed Saturday night prior to Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final."

Police in Shippagan on Thursday wouldn't confirm the identity of the victim but said a motorcyclist was killed in the early afternoon on a road between Shippagan and Lemeque.

Bourdon was the first-round draft pick of the Canucks in 2006, selected 10th overall. He split time this season with the Canucks and the Manitoba Moose of the American Hockey League. In 27 games with the Canucks, he scored twice and had no assists.

[+] EnlargeLuc Bourdon
Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty ImagesLuc Bourdon appeared in 27 games for the Canucks last season and scored two goals.

"The American Hockey League is saddened by the sudden loss of this outstanding young man and promising young player," AHL president and CEO David Andrews said in a statement "The entire AHL family offer its thoughts, prayers and deepest condolences to Luc's family, the Manitoba Moose and the Vancouver Canucks."

He played on the Canadian team that won the gold medal at the 2007 world junior hockey championship in Vancouver and made the tournament's all-star team. He helped Canada win another gold at the 2007 tournament in Sweden.

"Luc was an extremely talented player with a bright future," Canucks general manager Mike Gillis said in a statement. "He brought great passion to the game and was a valued team member on and off the ice. He will be greatly missed."

Bourdon played for Val d'Or, Moncton and Cape Breton of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League before turning pro.

"All members of the NHLPA and our staff are deeply saddened by the sudden and unexpected passing of Luc Bourdon. Through hard work and perseverance, Luc was able to realize his dream of becoming an NHL player. Luc had a promising life and career ahead of him and he will certainly be missed," NHLPA executive director Paul Kelly said in a statement. "The NHLPA's thoughts and prayers go out to the Bourdon family, his teammates and his many friends."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.