Pierre-Marc Bouchard spent 11 years with the Minnesota Wild and as a free agent this summer found a new home with the New York Islanders. Spending that long with one team makes saying goodbye hard, but he does so with a heart filled with warm memories.
Michael Russo of the Star Tribune hears from the guy called “Butch” and how he’s thankful for his time with the Wild.
“It was a great run,” said Bouchard. “Eleven years with one team, it was a great run. Just getting drafted by that team in the first round and making the playoffs my first year there. It was a fun run to get to the conference final [in 2003]. We won the division [in 2008]. Every time we made the playoffs, it was always a fun time to play in Minnesota in front of our fans…
“Minnesota will always be a special place for me.”
Having good times like that to hang his hat on make moving on difficult. Now he’s off to an Islanders team that’s young and poised to make more noise in the East.
Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.
We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.
It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”
Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)
Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.
So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”
… You get the idea.
The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.
The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.