There hasn't been much news on Pierre-Marc Bouchard lately as the 2002 first round pick continues to recover from post-concussion symptoms. The last update of any form was GM Chuck Fletcher telling the St. Paul Pioneer Press in June that "our expectation is he'll be healthy and able to contribute to our team next year," so it's nice to see Bouchard is once again back on the ice skating.
Bouchard, who last played in January and was injured by a hit from Winnipeg's Zach Bogosian in December, surprised the Chicoutini Sagueneens by suiting up and practicing with the team. PMB is the team's chairman - having bought a stake in June - and also gave an interview with TVA Sports (although both the article and entire interview are in French, you can see him skate) about the experience.
While it's just a practice and mostly show, it is music to our ears to see Bouchard on the ice. His return after missing all but one game in 2009-2010 from a concussion was a boost to the 2010-2011 edition of the Wild and there is no denying that things went downhill after the Winnipeg game last year. This off-season and solid drafting have helped curb some of the depth issues which were one reason the team derailed but there isn't a replacement for a healthy Bouchard.
Most of all, I'm interested in seeing how he and Mikael Granlund co-exist. Throw in the fact the 28 year-old has a lot to prove in the final year of a five-year, $20.4 million contract and there is a lot on the line for Bouchard.
At the very least, being back on the ice is a start.