He has missed 112 of the last 113 games for the Minnesota Wild, but Wednesday night, Pierre-Marc Bouchard will see his name in the lineup card once again.
Having not played a game since last year’s season opener due to lingering concussion symptoms, the fourth-leading scorer in Wild history is set to return to the Wild. Barring any setbacks in the next 24 hours, Head Coach Todd Richards will write Bouchard’s name on the Wild’s roster when the Phoenix Coyotes visit Xcel Energy Center. Richards has only been able to do that one other time in his Wild coaching career.
Former North Star Coach and General Manager Lou Nanne talked to WCCO’s Chad Hartman on Tuesday. Nanne explained why Bouchard is heading straight to the NHL instead of a rehab stint with the minor-league club in Houston.
Bouchard had been practicing and skating with the team most of this season but only recently had he been able to push it harder and not feel any extra pressure in his head.
How Bouchard will be used in his first game back remains to be seen. Coach Todd Richards will have more to say on Bouchard’s return at Wednesday’s morning skate. Bouchard said he expects to be eased into game situations and says he won’t be playing 20 minutes a night to begin with.
The Wild have lost 4 of their last 5 even though they’re still only 3 points out of first place in the Northwest Division. You can hear Wednesday night’s game on WCCO Radio. Pregame coverage begins at 6:35, faceoff just after 7:00.