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Let's Meet: Pierre-Marc Bouchard

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Here at Hockey Wilderness, we like to keep you updated when players are about to make their NHL debut with the Wild. Today is no exception. A new player has arrived on the scene, and we want everyone to know what they can expect from the young rookie phenom.

Wait, someone is whispering something in my ear here... He's not a rookie? He played for the team before? He's fifth in all-time franchise scoring? What?

It's clear that everyone knows who Butch is, and what he brings to the table. A phenomenal play maker with the creativity and imagination of a four year old on a sugar high. This is a sixty point per year player, and he gets those points by making those around him better. It will certainly be interesting to see if he can have an impact immediately, or if it takes a few games.


Pierre-Marc Bouchard

#96 / Right Wing / Minnesota Wild

5-10

173

Apr 27, 1984


To be certain, having Jared Spurgeon and Bouchard in the same line up is going to have the Coyotes prepared for a physical battle.

PMB, as he has been fondly referred to in the past, has missed all of last season, and all of this season due to post-concussion syndrome. PCS is one of the more terrifying afflictions one can encounter, because doctors don't have a clue what it is they are dealing with, no one knows the timetable for "curing" it, and no one knows if it even can be cured.

Hell, no one even really knows what it is. Concussions are a traumatic brain injury, and the symptoms afterward can be debilitating. Headaches, dizziness, nausea, forgetfulness... sounds... wonderful. Scary as hell is how I would describe it. With many careers ended due to these symptoms, and many former players never having the benefit of the care they provide in today's world, one can only imagine how many people are "just a bit off" because of concussions.

Bouchard has all of that to deal with mentally and physically, and now he gets to throw a heaping helping of NHL physical battle and mental preparation on top of it. The emotional toll should be high on him today. Excitement, fear, trepidation, exhilaration... should be fun to watch.

In other "Let's Meet" features, we generally turn to the blog who would know that player the best, and this is no exception. Here to tell us what to expect from Butch is Bryan Reynolds from Hockey Wilderness, a Minnesota Wild blog on the SBNation network. Contacted earlier today, Reynolds had this to say:

It's clear that everyone knows who Butch is, and what he brings to the table. A phenomenal play maker with the creativity and imagination of a four year old on a sugar high. This is a sixty point per year player, and he gets those points by making those around him better. It will certainly be interesting to see if he can have an impact immediately, or if it takes a few games.

Indeed, Bryan. It will be interesting to see what type of game he plays tonight. Russo already reported that PMB will start the game on the fourth line, and if he is feeling good, may get some power play time. His minutes will certainly be limited the first few games back, as they ease him back into the rigors of the NHL.

Eventually, you have to assume he plays in the top six, either with Mikko Koivu or Martin Havlat. Putting Butch on the top line with Koivu puts an onus on the captain to shoot the puck, as Butch isn't going to. Is that something Kaptain Finalnd can handle? With his play as of late, there will be doubts. If Butch is partnered with the red hot Havlat, can chemistry be found quickly? These two have never played together, so it is up in the air if that can happen.

No matter what, having Bouchard back on the ice is big news. Any NHL team would love to be able to announce they just added a 60 point, top six forward to their roster without giving up any assets to do so.

If nothing else, it brings visions of this back to our collective mind:

 

It also brings visions of the "spin-o-give-away-at-the-blue-line," but we'll focus on the positives for now.

Welcome back, Butch. You have been missed. Take it easy out there. No one expects you to save the team in game one. Game two... that's a different story.