Poster boy for the NHL's concussion issue (that they will not admit exists), Pierre-Marc Bouchard has all of Wild fandom holding their breath and waiting for the next bit of bad news. Will he be back? Will he be healthy enough to play? Will the next hit he takes be his last?
So many questions here, and no answers. None. Sit and wait. That's what you get with concussions, and that's what you get in a game that has seen the level of respect for your opponent go from negligible to nonexistent. But hey, why not keep hitting a guy between the numbers and slam their face into the boards, right? It makes perfect sense to do that.
The story of Bouchard leaves a bitter feeling, and a complete sense of confusion. The guy never did anything to anyone, and yet, here he is on the short end of things again.
#96 / Right Wing / Minnesota Wild
Apr 27, 1984
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Nathan- I'm so annoyed. I forgot that he was having such a good season, and forgot that he actually played in almost half the games this year. Fucking Bogosian. Fuck Winnipeg. Fuck the NHL. FUCK ALL OF THE THINGS!
Jesus it's irritating. Bouchard is such a talent, but once you start down the road with head injuries it completely alters everything you do if you can even get back onto the ice. I don't know why, but I fear we're going to be looking at Bouchard as one of those "what if" guys. What if he could have stayed healthy? What if the NHL gave a fuck about the product on the ice? What if he didn't have to retire at 29? Fuck. This sucks so hard.
Anyway, he was on pace for a 20 goal, 29 assist, 49 point season. Not great, not horrible. Sounds like a B-/C+ season. Add in the mushy head and we're looking at:
Bryan- One of the most talented play makers in the NHL, Bouchard has been shafted by the hockey gods more times than any one man should. The hit that knocked him out for this season should have resulted in a suspension, but even if it had, Butch still would not have been back, so it matters very little at this point. Here is another guy good for 20+ goals a year, likely another 40+ assists. Those sure would have sucked to have this year. I'll admit it. I fear for the guy's future at this point. One more concussion, and you have to think he's done.
Jesse- It's getting to the point where fans are left wondering what might have been with PMB. I'm not sure I want to see PMB back on the Wild for his sake. His long-term health has to be priority #1. The man can't seem to avoid concussions. It really sucks considering that he and Cullen were really starting to click, but it's tough to watch him struggle so badly with concussion-like symptoms. He gave a great effort this year, and the skill was there, but he has to start considering just walking away and getting healthy. Way more important than a game.