Joel Bouchard will be an excellent coach one day but for the time being, he will try to get his hockey career back on track with a 25 game PTO with the Hamilton Bulldogs. When he was playing with the NY Islanders in 2005-06 (only 25 games due to an injured hamstring), he was starting to play well in both ends of the ice until a hamstring problem developed and shortened his season. This has been Bouchard’s entire NHL career in a nutshell, play well for a short stretch until the injury bug strikes.
In the above La Presse article, Bouchard states that he is very impressed with Habs prospects Sergei Kostitsyn who he thinks has huge potential and has an offensive flair to his game but still needs to work on some aspects of his game. He is also impressed with Ryan O’Bryne’s “powerful physical presence and potential” and states that he still needs to work on his “offensive instincts” to develop the offensive side of his game which he believes is a necessity for defensemen in today’s game.
Another player that caught Bouchard’s attention in Hamilton was Pavel Valentenko who he thinks needs some work but has “a big shot, he hits and he isn’t afraid of anybody”.
With his experience and game knowledge (he has a show called l’Académie de hockey McDonald which airs on RDS teaching the fundamentals of hockey), Joel Bouchard can be a definite asset to the younger players (especially the defensemen) and help coaches Ron Wilson/Don Lever with their players development while trying to resurrect his own career. It tells you a lot about Joel Bouchard when he refused a two way guaranteed contract with the Columbus Blue Jacket and excepted a PTO with the Hamilton Bulldogs.
Here’s hoping that Mr. Bouchard can help players like O’Bryne, Valentenko and Carle while also resurrecting his own career as a player or a potential coach. Needless to say, a difficult balancing act!!!!!