Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Born on this date in 1975 in Vancouver while his French-Canadian father Paulin played for the Canucks, Sebastien Bordeleau played his junior hockey for the Hull Olympiques of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. The center scored 58 points as a rookie in 1991-92 and followed that with a 57 point season the following year which led to his being drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft with the 73rd overall pick.
He equalled his rookie total of 26 goals in 1993-94, but upped his assist total to 57, the same number of total points he scored the previous season for a total of 83. He then raised his game in 1994-95 with 52 goals and 76 assists for 128 points, which led Hull in scoring and placed him second overall in the QMJHL. He then went on to lead the Olympiques to the Memorial Cup playoffs with 13 goals and 32 points in 18 playoff games.
He joined the Fredericton Canadiens of the AHL for the 1994-95 and scored 46 points in 43 games. He also made his NHL debut with 4 games with the Montreal Canadiens that season.
Bordeleau while with the Montreal Canadiens
In 1996-97 Bordeleau split time with Fredericton (33 games) and Montreal (28), scoring his first NHL points with 2 goals and 9 assists in 28 games.
He played exclusively with Montreal in 1997-98, seeing action in 53 games and contributing 14 points. Unable to crack the Canadiens lineup full time, Bordeleau was traded to the Nashville Predators for the 1998-99 season. Seeing plenty of ice time during the expansion Predators first season, Bordeleau set an NHL career high with 40 points in 72 games, also a career high.
His numbers declined to 60 games and 23 points in a more defensive role in 1999-00 before missing nearly the entire 2000-01 season with an abdominal injury. Late in the season he was claimed off of waivers by the St. Louis Blues, who assigned him to the Worcester IceCats for the last couple of regular season games and the playoffs.
Bordeleau was then selected by another expansion club, the Minnesota Wild, for their second season in the Waiver Draft. He lasted 14 games in Minnesota before being reassigned to Houston of the AHL prior to being traded to the Phoenix Coyotes in January of 2002. He played six games for Phoenix, but spent the bulk of his time with 34 games playing for the Springfield Falcons in the AHL, his fourth club of the season.
Having played for six teams over the last two seasons, Bordeleau moved to SC Bern of the Swiss National League A for the 2002-03 season. In a complete reversal to the uncertainty of his position in North American professional hockey, Bordeleau found stability with Bern and also averaged more than a point per game with a high of 24 goals and 54 points in 44 games in 2005-06 to lead the club in scoring.
Bordeleau with SC Bern
During his second season with Bern, Bordeleau followed his 49 point regular season (accomplished in only 37 games) with a 10 goal, 14 point postseason as Bern won the Swiss league championship.
Following his run with SC Bern, Bordeleau moved to the rival EHC Biel club for the 2009-10 season where he continues to play today.
Here Bordeleau battles with fellow Canadian Randy Robitaille.
Note the flaming helmets and jerseys Bordeleau and Robitaille are both wearing in the above photo, which identify them as their respective team's leading scorers, a regular element of Swiss hockey. Sponsored by PostFinance, the financial services division of the Swiss post office, the leading scorer on each team is designated as the PostFinance Top Scorer and wears both a highly visible yellow flaming helmet and jersey, which are quite different from their teammates, something NHLer's such as Joe Thornton discovered to their great displeasure while playing in Switzerland during the 2004-05 season, a practice which flies directly in the face of the Canadian "team-first" mentality!
Internationally, Bordeleau made his debut playing not for his native Canada, but for France in the 2004 World Championships in Prague, following in his father's footsteps, as he also skated for France in the Olympics in 1988 in Calgary.
He once again suited up for France at the 2008 World Championships in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Bordeleau wears the French throwback jersey in the 2008 World Championships as he celebrates a French goal
Things went better for both Bordeleau and France in 2008, as he scored six points in five games as France avoided relegation this time out with a two game sweep of their best-of-three relegation series against Italy with Bordeleau scoring a goal in each of the two games.
Bordeleau ensures France's survival in the Top Division with this game winning goal against Italy
Today's featured jersey is a 2004 France National Team Sebastien Bordeleau jersey. France adopted his style jersey with it's distinctive rooster logo for the 1998 and wore it again in the 2002 Olympics, as well as a number of World Championships during that time period through 2004. It may be hard to discern, but close inspection will reward the viewer with a subtle black on blue pattern running down the length of the arms.
France's first appearance in international hockey was in the 1920 Olympics. They have since appeared in 10 Olympic Games, most recently in 2002 with a best placing of 5th in 1920 and 1924 and an 8th place in 1992 being their best of the modern era.
In the World Championships, they debuted in 1930 and have participated every year since 1973. They began life in the "C" Pool and moved up to the "B" Pool in 1991. The were in the Top Division from 1992 through 2000, iwth a best of 8th in 1995. They found themselves back in Division I in 2001 and remained there until earning a promotion in 2003, only to get sent straight back down in 2004. It would take France three years to again return to the Top Division by winning Division I, Group A in 2007. They have avoided relegation over the last three tournaments to continue to compete in the Top Division.
Bonus Jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 2000-01 Nashville Predators Sebastien Bordeleau jersey. The original Predators jerseys had a special shoulder patch with "98" contained in it to commemorate the Predators debut season. The following season all NHL jerseys sported the NHL 2000 patch in advance of the Millennium, allowing this jersey to be dated to Bordeleau's third season in Nashville of 2000-01 when the club wore no additional patches.
Today's video section begins with a profile of Bordeleau from his playing time in Switzerland, which includes some game footage.
Check out this unintentionally humorous video, as we get some exciting hard rockin' tunes while Bordeleau hobbles slowly around his home, doing not much of anything at all, highlighted by a look into his fridge and the world's most boring photo shoot. Not even the choice of music can create any excitement for this video, no matter how hard they tried!