Tag:Pierre-Marc Bouchard
Posted on: January 26, 2012 11:38 am
Edited on: January 26, 2012 5:08 pm
 

What would all-Quebec team look like for Habs?

By Brian Stubits

Go back a few weeks when Randy Cunneyworth's "hiring" in Montreal was all the rage. Literally, rage. It led to organized protests against the Canadiens organization, not just Cunneyworth (although that was the impetus).

Those who didn't support Cunneyworth's hiring because he doesn't speak French were upset not only with the Cunneyworth promotion, but what they called the entire Anglicization of the Montreal Canadiens, Quebec's only team since the Nordiques became the Avalanche.

The list of complaints went beyond the coach not speaking French, however. Here is what the Canadian Press reported about the protests.

Protesters also complained the music played at the Bell Centre is in English, that announcements are in both languages and that the team has few francophone players.

I laughed when I first saw that. Would the people of Quebec rather have a team of Francophones that stink than a team of Anglophones that wins (of course they have neither right now)?

So that got me to thinking: What would an all French-speaking, Quebec-born team look like? I wanted to take a look and see how good of a team I could put together, keeping salary cap restraints in mind. (Hey folks, it's the All-Star break, just having some fun here.) Consider this my own All-Star fantasy draft.

Let's just get right to it, shall we?

Head coach

Alain Vigneault is the guy. The Quebec City native has actually tried coaching the Canadiens before, making the playoffs only once from 1997-2001. He was fired midseason in the 2000-01 campaign. But he's found success since moving on to Vancouver, winning the Jack Adams once and coming in as a finalist in 2011 (he was also a finalist in 2000 with the Habs). A return trip to Montreal will hopefully go better this time.

Goaltenders

Marc-Andre Fleury, Jean-Sebastien Giguere get the nod here. Now this is a position where I have a lot of choices. Fleury I think is a pretty clear starter based partly on his age, but for the second spot there are a lot of veterans: Giguere, Martin Brodeur, Jose Theodore, Martin Biron, Mathieu Garon and Jonathan Bernier. They can stop pucks in Quebec, that's pretty clear.

In terms of salary, Fleury takes up $5 million, Giguere only $1.25. So $6.25 million in goal is a decent price to pay, but not bad.

Robidas has spent time in Montreal already. (Getty Images)

Defensemen

I'm going with (in no particular pairing order) Kris Letang, Marc-Andre Bergeron, Francois Beauchemin, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Stephane Robidas and Marc-Andre Gragnani. Letang leads the scoring punch while Bergeron, Beauchemin and to an extent Vlasic adding some more points. Defensively, Vlasic and Beauchemin highlight a pretty good two-way corps. But if anybody goes down, it gets thin after that.

As a whole, the defensemen don't cost that much. Beauchemin ($3.8 million), Letang ($3.5 million), Robidas ($3.3 million), Vlasic ($3.1 million), Bergeron ($1 million) and Gragnani (550,000) come in at a total of $15.25 million.

Center

Now this is a group of guys I like: Patrice Bergeron, Danny Briere, David Desharnais and Maxime Talbot. You'll notice one pretty big omission here and that's Vincent Lecavalier, but that $10 million per year is too big of a burden, I don't know how the Lightning do it. But I still have two guys who can score, arguably the best defensive center in the game, a young and promising player in Desharnais and a solid worker in Talbot.

Naturally this is costing me some cash here. Briere ($6.5 million) is costly, then add Bergeron ($5 million) before getting a little reprieve with Talbot ($1.75 million) and Desharnais ($850,000). In total, they take up $14.1 million.

Right wing

OK, I take it back about center. This is where my team is really loaded. Check out this lineup of Martin St. Louis, Jason Pominville, P.A. Parenteau and Alex Burrows. That's some serious scoring ability on the wing. I didn't have room for Maxim Lapierre or Pascal Dupuis at this position, but more on them later.

As you'd expect, this is the most expensive per-player corps on the team. St. Louis commands a cool $5.625 million, Pominville takes $5.3 million, Burrows costs $2 million and Parenteau a very reasonable $1.25 million. Total bill: $14.175 million.

Left wing

Here we have an Achilles' heel. The lineup we could toss out is Pierre-Marc Bouchard, Alex Tanguay, David Perron and Guillaume Latendresse, but that's an awfully risky group of players. Each of Bouchard, Perron and Latendresse have dealt with concussions while Tanguay has been suffering with a neck strain. So to add a little stability, I'm going to convert Dupuis to the left side and leave out Bouchard -- more expensive than Latendresse.

The good news is this group doesn't cost a whole lot. Tanguay ($3.5 million), Latendresse ($2.5 million), Perron ($2.15 million) and Dupuis ($1.5 million) run up a bill of $9.65 million.

Scratches

Since he didn't make the list at right wing, Lapierre is going to serve as our daily scratch. But really he's likely going to be playing a lot at left wing with the injury potential. What he also gives is a physical presence. He's at least not averse to dropping the gloves, having five fights this season for Vancouver. Maybe we could try and talk Georges Laraque to coming back and serving the enforcer role, but undoubtedly sitting in press row most nights.

Lapierre comes in at an even $1 million.

Overall

The total salary for this team checks in at $60.425 million, giving our GM (we'll just keep Pierre Gauthier) a little room to maneuver or sign maybe another defenseman that would likely sit in the press box most nights.

Moreover, the top prospect in the system would have to be Jonathan Huberdeau, the player who went third overall to Florida in the last NHL Draft. He's likely to be in the NHL next season and right now projects to be a center but he can also play on the wing, so he could help out with the weaker left side.

In the end, it's actually a much better team than I thought it could be. It might be a little lacking in the physical department, but the team has a lot of ingredients: It has some big-time scorers (seriously, a top two lines of Tanguay-Bergeron-St. Louis and Perron-Briere-Pominville isn't bad at all), it has some agitators (I'm looking at you, Burrows and Lapierre), is good defensively and I think it's solid in net.

And don't forget, everybody speaks French!

More from Eye on Hockey

Yes there were protesters in Montreal
Quebec group unhappy with Cunneyworth hire
Owner: Bilingual coach is important

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: January 16, 2012 9:13 am
Edited on: January 16, 2012 9:24 am
 

Report: Mikko Koivu could miss month

KoivuBy: Adam Gretz

The Minnesota Wild have been falling fast in the Western Conference standings, and now they could be facing a critical stretch in their season without the services of their best player, Mikko Koivu. According to Michael Russo of the Star Tribune, Koivu could miss the next month of action due to a shoulder injury that he suffered on Saturday night during Minnesota's 3-2 shootout loss to the St. Louis Blues.

Even with Koivu, the team's leading scorer with 33 points (9 goals, 24 assists in 41 games), the Wild are one of the NHL's lowest scoring clubs, entering the week with an average of just 2.22 goals per game, the second-lowest mark in the league. Only the Los Angeles Kings average fewer. Obviously, this could be a big blow to a season that could already be starting to slip away from them.

Along with being Wild's leading scorer, he's also their best defensive forward and a legitimate Selke Trophy contender, so it's not just the offense that's going to be missed in his absence.

Since starting the season 20-7-3 and owning the best record in the league in early December, the Wild have lost 13 of their past 15 games, with only one of the wins coming in regulation (a 4-3 win over Edmonton back on December 29). As of Monday morning they occupy what would be the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference, holding a one-point lead over the Colorado Avalanche and a two-point lead over the Dallas Stars. After facing Philadelphia on Tuesday, the Wild have four games (two each) against the Avs and Stars over the next two weeks. That's an important stretch of games.

Koivu isn't the only injury facing the Wild right now as the team is also without forwards Guillaume Latendresse and Pierre-Marc Bouchard, who is out with concussion-like symptoms.

Previously at Eye On Hockey

The Wild have a puck possession problem
Pierre-Marc Bouchard out with concussion
Bouchard injured on hit
More Minnesota Wild news

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: January 10, 2012 2:12 pm
 

Wild's Bouchard out with concussion-like symptoms

By Brian Stubits

Pierre-Marc Bouchard missed all but one game in 2009-10 with a concussion. That same concussion cost him the end of the 2008-09 season and beginning of the 2010-11 campaign. So he knows all about hockey's big problem.

Unfortunately for him, he is being reminded about it now.

The Minnesota Wild announced on Tuesday that Bouchard is out indefinitely with concussion-like symptoms. They are waiting for more information before dropping the symptoms part and going with full out concussion, but if we've learned anything in the last year, that's likely where this is headed.

A little more from Michael Russo at the Minneapolis Star-Tribune:

According to GM Chuck Fletcher, Bouchard hasn't felt comfortable since the Zach Bogosian check into the boards last month in Winnipeg. Late in last week's Vancouver game, Bouchard was elbowed and has been experiencing symptoms.

Fletcher said Bouchard's symptoms aren't near as severe as when he was out with post-concussion syndrome during the year-plus away. Fletcher did admit they were being vague with Bouchard's injury, but he did suffer a groin strain as well against Vancouver and the Wild didn't want to use the concussion word until it had more information.

In case you need a reminder on that tough hit from Bogosian on Bouchard from earlier this season, here you go.

We've seen time and time again how bad things can get with repeated concussions. Moreover, it's been known to make guys more susceptible to more concussions down the line. I really hope that's not the case for Bouchard.

From an on-ice standpoint, the Wild will certainly miss Bouchard while he's out, too. They have been struggling to find offense for weeks now and losing a play-making winger who has 22 points in 37 games isn't a good way to get to that end.

Photo: Getty Images

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Posted on: December 26, 2011 9:27 pm
Edited on: December 26, 2011 9:32 pm
 

Avs' McLeod booted for check on Wild's Spurgeon

By Brian Stubits

It didn't take long for somebody to see if Brendan Shanahan is still feeling jolly from his Christmas break.

At the 5:20 of the first period in Minnesota, Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cody McLeod was given a five-minute major for checking from behind on the Wild's Jared Spurgeon. After a little deliberation while Spurgeon remained on the ice, McLeod was then assessed a game misconduct, ensuring a review from the league.

So everybody knows the drill by now: Is this worthy of a suspension by Shanahan and his staff?

Admittedly, the play did look bad in live action. The fact that Spurgeon was down on the ice for some time then left the ice with help isn't good news for McLeod hoping to avoid suspension and stay with the Avs, who are suddenly hot once again.

But this is a tough call. You can see McLeod following behind with his hand on Spurgeon's back and it seems like a relatively innocent forecheck on the play. The problem comes when Spurgeon puts on the brakes and McLeod doesn't. I don't see much of a push on the play from McLeod.

It certainly doesn't seem any worse to me than the hit from Zach Bogosian on the Wild's Pierre-Marc Bouchard, which did not result in a suspension.

It doesn't speak a lot for the consistency of the discipline offices, but if I were to guess I'd say no suspension should result, but no decision will surprise me (outside of a long suspension, that is). Remember, McLeod essentially served a one-game suspension in this one, being ineligible for 54 of the 60 minutes. The only difference is he'll still get a pay check for the game.

More NHL Discipline News Here

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Posted on: December 16, 2011 10:15 pm
Edited on: December 16, 2011 10:15 pm
 

Dion Phaneuf ejected for boarding



By: Adam Gretz


Late in the second period of a Wild game between Toronto and Buffalo on Friday night, which Buffalo won by a 5-4 margin, Maple Leafs defenseman Dion Phaneuf was issued a five-minute major and a game misconduct for boarding Sabres forward Zack Kassian, which you can see in the above video.

The play occurred behind the Toronto net with three minutes to play in the period, and Kassian didn't appear to do anything at the last second to put himself in a vulnerable position. When you combine that with the fact Kassian had a noticeable cut on his face, that was more than enough to give Phaneuf an early trip to the locker room.

Is this hit all that different from the one Winnipeg's Zach Bogosian delivered to Minnesota's Pierre-Marc Bouchard earlier this week? That play also resulted in a five-minute major and a game misconduct, while Bogosian did not receive any supplemental discipline from the NHL.

Before being ejected, Phaneuf scored his fourth goal of the season.

More NHL Discipline News Here

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Posted on: December 13, 2011 11:34 pm
Edited on: December 18, 2011 4:57 pm
 

Jets' Bogosian ejected for boarding P-M Bouchard

By Brian Stubits

It didn't take the Winnipeg Jets long to find themselves a true rival in their new home.

The Jets and Minnesota Wild made acquaintance on Tuesday in Winnipeg and in addition to the Jets ending the Wild's seven-game win streak, but Zach Bogosian introduced the bad blood into the soon-to-be rivalry. Literally.

With just over a minute to go and the Jets clinging to a 2-1 lead, Pierre-Marc Bouchard was handling the puck behind the Jets net when Bogosian came in to make a play. Bouchard did an about face and then his face met the glass. The result was a bloodied Bouchard, a five-minute boarding major and game misconduct for Bogosian.

This hit will obviously be scrutinized by Brendan Shanahan and the NHL, but this one will be debatable. This is a situation that I think many people will question whether or not Bouchard put himself into position for the bad hit, turning his back to the defender just before contact. It was a rough spot for Bogosian.

But still, the impetus is on him in that situation not to shove Bouchard into the boards while in a vulnerable position.

It's important to note that Bouchard has suffered from a concussion before, so that will be something worth watching for after this hit.

In the end, I think there might be a little extra pressure on Shanahan to lay down some extra punishment on Bogosian because of the result, a bloodied and obviously injured Bouchard, especially if he was concussed again.

The two teams already have geography working in their favor for a natural rivalry, but games like this add some real ferocity as well. Next season when they become conference/division foes, it will only be more intense.

More NHL Discipline News Here

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Posted on: October 10, 2011 1:42 pm
Edited on: October 10, 2011 2:03 pm
 

No discipline for Sarich; Bouchard's upheld

By: Adam Gretz

There was some debate over the weekend as to whether or not Calgary Flames defenseman Cory Sarich would be suspended for a hit that left Penguins forward Matt Cooke dazed during Pittsburgh's 4-3 win on Saturday night. The immediate reaction, aside from the surprise that the discussion was taking place with Cooke being on the receiving end of such a hit, was that it would probably be viewed as a full body hit with little chance for any sort of discipline.

In the end, that is indeed what the NHL has determined, and Sarich will be available when the Flames travel to St. Louis on Monday afternoon to take on the Blues.

Gary Meagher, senior vice-president public relations and media, told Steve MacFarlane of the Calgary Sun that Sarich's hit was considered a "full body check" and that even though there was some contact with the head, it was not the principal point of contact, nor was it targeted by Sarich.

The veteran defenseman insisted that he wasn't trying to do anything illegal when he delivered the hit, and also suggested that it was "embellished a little bit."

Meanwhile, Minnesota Wild forward Pierre-Marc Bouchard filed an appeal on his two-game suspension for a stick-swinging incident against the Columbus Blue Jackets over the weeked. That suspension sent Boucard's agent, Allan Walsh, on an epic rant that was directed at Brendan Shanahan for running what Walsh called a "kangaroo court."

The appeal was heard by Gary Bettman Monday morning and was ultimately upheld, meaning Bouchard won't be able to return to the Wild lineup until Thursday when they host the Edmonton Oilers.

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Posted on: October 9, 2011 6:08 pm
Edited on: October 9, 2011 8:22 pm
 

Wild's Bouchard banned 2 games, agent rips system

By Brian Stubits

Pierre-Marc Bouchard is the latest to be served a suspension from Brendan Shanahan, getting a two-game ban for his high stick last night against Columbus Blue Jackets forward Matt Calvert. Nick Kypreos of Sportsnet reported it and Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star Tribune confirmed.

Here's a description of the infraction from Aaron Portzline at the Columbus Dispatch.

Calvert lost at least a couple of teeth and needed stitches to close a cut on the left side of his upper lip, but he was able to return to the game in the third period.

The Blue Jackets were outraged that Bouchard was able to finish the game. They wanted a major penalty and a game misconduct, and coach Scott Arniel was quite animated in his argument on the bench. Instead, Bouchard was given a double-minor, the standard call when a high-stick results in bloodshed.

Shanahan released the explanation video, describing the decision.

Columbus coach Scott Arniel was less than pleased about it after the game.

"It's definitely an attempt to injure Arniel said. "Our whole bench saw it. Their whole bench saw it.

"We want to talk about getting hit from behind and shots to the head, but we allow a guy to stay in the game after taking a baseball swing at a guy's face? That's a joke."

You might remember during the preseason the Wild and Blue Jackets had a testy affair. That game saw Brad Staubitz of the Wild receive a suspension for a hit from behind and a later play from Columbus' James Wisniewski led to a heavy eight-game regular-season suspension. I'd say these teams are building up some bad blood.

But after watching the video, I do wonder: As the announcer points out, did Calvert almost hit himself in the face with Bouchard's stick? Notice the two are jostling back and forth when Calvert lifts Bouchard's stick and it seems like he shoots it right into his own face. You are responsible for your own stick, so the penalty in the game is justified still, but should he have received further punishment?

“It was just a bad accident. It was just a battle there on the faceoff," Bouchard said earlier on Sunday. "He comes after me before the puck drops and we go at it. He lifts my stick and it hits him in the mouth. I’m not that kind of player. I was not aiming for his mouth.”

I have to say, this is the first of the suspensions that I really disagree with. Obviously it is subjective, but it really looks like an accident to me. It sure seems Calvert unintentionally lifts Bouchard's stick into his own face to me. Even Shanahan admits to that being the situation. But as always, he is ultimately responsible for where his stick goes and no matter if Bouchard intended to hit him in the hands or not. I just can't see this suspension being the right call. The penalty he took in the game and maybe a supplemental fine would have sufficed.

Apparently Bouchard's agent Allan Walsh feels the same way. Here's part of a scathing email he sent to Russo about the whole situation.

"What message is Brendan Shanahan sending with this unwarranted suspension? All perennial Lady Byng candidates should now be on notice that when an opponent high sticks himself in the mouth, he can expect a minimum suspension of 2 regular season NHL games. This result is a shameful farce for the League.

"All in all, these 20 minute disciplinary hearings are nothing more than kangaroo courts. More League effort goes into writing scripts and producing slick video's than in getting to the real facts of what occurred on the ice. It's an inherent conflict of interest for an employee of the NHL to be conducting these hearings and imposing suspensions on players. It's time for a neutral 3rd party not associated with the league or the players to take over supplementary discipline as this system clearly does not work."

Wow. There has been some criticism already, but this is easily the most scathing. Now the discussion is really on.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com