NHL Minnesota Wild

Pierre-Marc Bouchard Unlikely to Return to Minnesota Wild Next Season

Isaiah J. Downing – USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Wild have a number of free agents that general manager, Chuck Fletcher, will be needing to make difficult decisions on this coming off-season.

Minnesota forward Pierre-Marc Bouchard is one of those players who is set to become an unrestricted free agent come July.  The Wild drafted Bouchard in the first round (eighth overall) in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft and has since spent his entire professional career with the team making him the player who has been with the team the longest.

His play this past season had been inconsistent, so he found himself to be a healthy scratch and his stats have seen a decline over the past few seasons mostly due to missing games from a concussion and lingering effects from the concussion.  This past season he tallied 20 points (8G, 12A) in 43 games played, which is far from his best season with the Wild way back in 2007-08 when he recorded 63 points (13G, 50A) in 81 games played.

It appears that Bouchard’s time with the Wild is ending and it is unlikely that he will be re-signed to a contract extension.  There does not seem to be a role for him with his consistency and physicality are lacking since suffering from a concussion especially with other players who have been acquired such as Zach Parise and with a number of other players to consider re-signing such as Cal Clutterbuck and Matt Cullen.

Stephanie Lewark is an NHL and Pittsburgh Penguins Senior Writer for RantSports.com. Follow her on Twitter (@steelcitysports), check out her Facebook page, or add her to your Google+ circle.