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  • Pierre-Marc Bouchard retires: A look back on his Wild career.



    But PMB didn't really hit his stride until the 2005-06 season. Coming off a year in Houston (due to the lockout), Bouchard was given a bigger role on both even strength and the power play, and he ran with it. His 59 points were 3rd on the team, and he tied for the team lead with 31 points on the power play. He would go on to enjoy a run of success at a time when the Wild were most competitive (up to that point), scoring 179 points (50G-129A) from the 05-06 to 07-08 seasons. In 2008, he signed a 5 year, $20M contract to keep him in the fold long-term.

    It's not particularly uncommon for a concussion to force someone out for an 8-game stretch. What is uncommon (and downright scary) is when that concussion doesn't heal over the course of months. Sadly, that's what happened to Bouchard, whose road to recovery over the summer ended when his concussion symptoms returned in the first game of the 09-10 season. That game would be his only one of the season, essentially missing an entire year of hockey.

    It wouldn't be hard to blame a player for ending his career then and there, but Bouchard was determined to return to hockey, and was finally able to play again on December 1st, 2010. For a player coming off a year plus of no hockey (not to mention playing on a bad team), PMB did remarkably well, scoring 12 goals and 26 assists in 59 games, and he continued to play a big role on the team into the next season.


    But the summer of 2013 saw Bouchard's contract with the Wild expire, and he would move on to the Islanders for a year before signing in Switzerland's National League A, where he led the league in scoring en route to capturing MVP honors.

    To some, Bouchard's legacy in Minnesota will be tainted by his lack of scoring and his injuries. There was a loud faction of fans who felt he was too small, too "soft", and too pass-happy to be the impact player most expect from a #8 overall pick.

    Here's to hoping that Bouchard enjoys a happy, healthy retirement. In the meantime, let's take a few minutes to appreciate just how skilled the man was.

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