Minnesota Wild Fifteen Greatest Players: #10 Pierre-Marc Bouchard


Pierre Marc-Bouchard is undisputedly the fastest skater in Minnesota Wild history.  His blinding speed and creativity made him statistically one of the best Wild players ever, but perhaps it was a signature goal scoring move that fans remember him for most.

Coming in at number ten on the list, is hands down the fastest skater in Minnesota Wild history and one of the fastest of his time in the NHL.  Pierre Marc-Bouchard was a rare play maker that used his speed and imagination to make things happen offensively.  On Wild teams that were called offensively challenged, Bouchard was the exception making plays and scoring goals for ten seasons in Minnesota.

More from History

A native of Sherbrooke Quebec, Bouchard started his professional journey like many young French-Canadian players in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.  In his two years in the QMJHL, he would post an astounding 235 points (84 goals and 151 assists) and win the CHL’s Player of the Year Award in 2002.  Then weeks after winning that award he would be drafted in the first round of the 2002 NHL Draft, with the 8th overall selection to the Wild.

Bouchard would start the next season with the Wild in 2002-03.  He would post average numbers that season and the next as he struggled to translate his successes in the QMJHL to the NHL.  Then the lockout produced lost season of 2004-05 forced him to play an entire season in the AHL for Houston where Bouchard would find some confidence and regain his playmaking touch by putting up 42 assists in 67 games.

Upon his return to the Wild that next season, Bouchard would find himself much improved as he settled in and took his play making to the next level.  The main difference was that Bouchard began to parlay his outstanding speed and hands into results on the scoresheet.

In the 2005-06 season Bouchard would unveil his signature move, the Spin-o-Rama.  On December 5th 2006, he would find himself in a position to win the game in the shootout against the Blackhawks.  Bouchard skated in using his speed, stopped short of the goal, spun completely around and finished with a backhand shot that beat Nikolai Khabluulin by a mile.  It was a seriously awesome display of skating and stickhandling that he would use a few more times in his career to score some great goals.

Bouchard’s best season with the Wild was when they needed it most in 2007-08 tallying 50 assists to help the club to their one and only division title.  Late the next season Bouchard would suffer a huge hit to the head that would cause a concussion and severe after effects that would sideline him for the rest of that season and all but one game of the next season in 2009-10.  After coming back his production would suffer and the so the Wild decided to part ways with him after the 2012-13 season.

Bouchard would try to hang on in the NHL after that signing with the Islanders, but he found himself ending the 2013-14 season in the AHL.  The next season Bouchard would take his game to Europe playing the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons for Zug EV in Switzerland.  His numbers in Zug were good, but because of his concussion history the NHL never came calling again and Bouchard decided to hang up his skates last summer after 15 professional seasons.

Next: What Turned Erik Haula Around?

Bouchard’s impact on the Wild is easy to see, just look in the record books.  He ranks in the top five in each of the major offensive categories.  Bouchard is 5th in goals with 106, 2nd in assists with 241, and 3rd in points with 347.  Fans may not remember where he is in the record book, but they will always remember his speed and creativity, and of course the Spin-o-Rama.  You can even make the case that it is the best shootout move ever in the history of the NHL.