Snow Out to Strike Gold With Bouchard
Islanders General Manager Garth Snow deserves far more credit than he gets.
The former NHL puck stopper has assembled a competitive roster via the waiver wire, the ‘bargain bin’ and the draft whilst the franchise navigated some choppy financial waters.
Snow struck gold last season, signing former St Louis forward Brad Boyes to a 1 year, $1m contract. Boyes went on to score 10 goals and 35 points in the truncated 2012/13 season; helping the Islanders make the post season for the first time in six seasons.
The Isles brass is hoping to repeat that success with new signing Pierre Marc Bouchard.
Bouchard, who has spent his entire NHL career with Minnesota, signed a 1 year, $2m deal this summer and looks set to partner new Islanders Captain John Tavares and sniper Matt Moulson on the clubs top line.
Whilst health questions still float around the Quebec native, particularly with more than 100 games lost to concussion (including almost the entire 2009/10 season), the skilled winger is capable of 20 goals and 60 points; particularly if he is set to play with Tavares and Moulson.
As with any former Wild player, comments regarding the teams past ‘defensive approach’ under Jacques Lemaire lead to suggests of greater offensive potential for skilful players like Bouchard, and there is little doubt that the 5’11” winger should add a little bit of sizzle to the Isles sausage.
The roster has plenty of dependable work horses like Matt Martin, Andy MacDonald and Frans Nielsen, who ensure there is no shortage of heart of effort on the Islanders roster; but a lack of creative spark, beyond Tavares, has been a criticism levelled at Jack Capuano’s team, one which a healthy Bouchard should help to address.
If the Islanders can get the best of Bouchard, he should prove to be a strong addition to a club back on the rise and aiming for another play-off berth.