Whether its Michael Grabner, or Thomas Hickey, or whoever, guys just find a way to find their games again playing here. This year, we could possibly see a renaissance in the game of one Pierre-Marc Bouchard.
Bouchard has a very strong skill set. The guy can flat out play hockey. In his first few years in the league, playing with the Minnesota Wild, Bouchard averaged about 35-40 assists a year and somewhere around 50-60 points a year. I’m not saying that those numbers are going to put him in an elite company among the best in the league, but they are very respectable numbers.
Bouchard is regarded as a creative playmaker and strong team player who often attempts unorthodox techniques during play. Over the past few years, however, the injury bug has taken its toll, thus possibly causing his confidence to diminsh. A concussion suffered during the 2008-09 season has caused problems for Bouchard as he had to deal with post concussion syndrome most of the following season.
Ever since then, his offensive production has seemed to slip.
There is still a lot left in the tank for Bouchard. He’s 29-years old and still has a long career ahead of him. The numbers near the end of his time in Minnesota weren’t that great, but now he has a chance to kickstart his career over again. He is still a supremely skilled player and given the right settings, circumstances and the right linemates, Bouchard’s career could take off.
By this time next year, fans could see a renaissance of Bouchard, which could land him a nice deal, whether its with the Islanders or another team. Playing here could be the medication he needs to find himself and his game again.