Pierre-Marc Bouchard, the 31-year old former eighth overall pick who played 11 NHL seasons with the Minnesota Wild and New York Islanders has decided to hang up his skates due to ongoing concussion issues.
On Mar 25, 2009 Bouchard was on the receiving end of a huge hit delivered by Nate Thompson of the Islanders.
That marked the beginning of what would become an ongoing struggle with concussion symptoms. After playing in the 2009-10 season opener, Bouchard missed the remainder of the season, as well as 23 games the following year.
As HockeyWilderness.Com outlines, Bouchard was able to return in December 2011 but after getting hit from behind by Winnipeg’s Zach Bogosian, he would again experience symptoms related to his concussion history.
Bouchard has played the last two seasons in the Swiss-A league with Zug, netting 29 goals and 89 total points in 98 games. Prior to departing, he played in 593 NHL games and piled up 356 total points (110 goals, 246 assists). He was a mainstay with the Wild prior to signing with the Islanders for the 2013-14 season.
Bouchard released the following statement via EV Zug’s official website.
Unfortunately, after thoughts, I decided to retire from hockey. It was a very hard decision to make but I know it is the right one for my family and I.
Bouchard was named CHL player of the year in 2001-02 and played in the 2003-04 NHL Young Stars Game. Last season, he was named MVP of the Swiss-A league for his performance with EV Zug.
RELATED: Are the Blackhawks at Code Black?
Pittsburgh Penguins writer for TheHockeyWriters.Com and PittsburghHockeyNow.Com. Youth hockey coach, and student of the game.