Montreal Canadiens forward Michael Bournival is finally healthy and ready to play. He returned to the locker room this week after being shut down with post-concussion symptoms last year.
There was some expectation, since he hasn’t played a game since a March 13 game with the Hamilton Bulldogs in the AHL, that he’d been given a conditioning stint in the American League.
However, that is not the case. The Canadiens have placed Bournival on waivers, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.
Bournival, a Colorado Avalanche draft pick acquired by the Canadiens while still in major junior, is just 23 and proved himself a capable offensive presence both in the QMJHL and AHL.
But last year was rough for him. He had suffered a concussion that sidelined him briefly during his rookie season, and then came to camp and couldn’t find his pace. Once he finally cracked the lineup in November, he was injured again.
In February, the team reassigned him to the AHL. He only got a few games into his time there before the team realized he’d covered up dizziness from a concussion and they shut him down. He was given a clean bill of health in May and started training, coming into camp in great shape, but the dizziness returned at camp and he was sidelined again.
It was a tough road back to health, as he told Sportsnet’s Eric Engels upon his return to practice on Monday.
Bournival is still young and has a lot of potential. He could be an interesting piece for a team who is willing to take a chance on him despite a rough start to last year and those reoccurring concussion symptoms. But when you see Bobby Farnham claimed after not producing much in Pittsburgh and Petter Granberg claimed coming off a serious injury, it’s easy to see how a team might take a chance on Bournival.
Bournival has cleared waivers and was assigned to the St. John’s IceCaps of the AHL.
RELATED: Michel Therrien’s Favorite Trio
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.