Pierre-Marc Bouchard was long a fan favorite for the Wild. There was something about his play that made him feel like the underdog, the player you want to cheer for. It got a little tougher to cheer for him this month — or at least tougher to watch him play from over here in North America, as he will be taking his talents overseas to play for EV Zug in Switzerland’s National League A, the team announced on July 8.
Bouchard played 28 games for the Islanders last year — his first season away from the Wild — tallying four goals and five assists before being sent to AHL Bridgeport and later traded to Chicago along with Peter Regin in a deal where the Islanders kept half of Bouchard and Regin’s salaries. Bouchard never got the call up from Chicago and spent the rest of the season playing for their AHL affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs, where he had three goals and 17 points through 24 games.
It was an unfortunate season for Bouchard, who hoped to bounce back after his career had been derailed somewhat following a string of concussion issues. His best seasons were ultimately in a Wild uniform, posting solid numbers from the 2005-06 season through 2008-09, which was the last time he played close to a full season in the NHL. He has great hands and incredible hockey sense, but never fully returned to form after missing all but one game in the 2009-10 season.
Bouchard played 586 games in a Wild uniform, scoring 110 goals and 246 assists with a plus-14 rating and 182 penalty minutes. 66 goals and 159 assists of that came over the four season stretch from 2005-06 to 2008-09. In the four seasons following that he only played 140 games (one of those seasons was the lockout-shortened season), capturing just 29 goals and 51 assists.
Tags: Pierre-Marc Bouchard