Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 07/12/10 at 09:32 AM ET
from Bruce Brothers of the Pioneer Press,
Six months ago, Pierre-Marc Bouchard not only stayed off the ice at the Xcel Energy Center, but he dared venture out for only short walks through his neighborhood.
Mentally, he said, he “kind of hit the bottom.”
Last week, however, Bouchard was back to feeling his oats.
“Gotta go,” he said by phone from his summer home in Montreal. “My brother wants to go for a bike ride.”
It’s no coincidence that as Bouchard missed 81 of the Wild’s 82 games last season because of post-concussion symptoms, the Wild floundered in the NHL’s Western Conference standings and fell short of the playoffs.
Team personnel, along with Bouchard, are cautiously optimistic that the playmaking former first-round draft pick will play for the Wild this season. Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher can’t wait to see the shifty, 5-foot-10 forward back in the team’s lineup.
“He will come back, and the sooner the better, but again there’s still some healing to be done,” Fletcher said
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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