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Archive for the ‘Philippe Boucher’ Category

It’s been hard picturing what Stars Hockey is going to be like this season.

There are so many changes (and a few non-changes) that make the picture murky. I’ve been a Stars fan since about 1998 and Mike Modano and Jere Lehtinen have always been there. Up until a couple of seasons ago, the Stars have mostly always been in the playoffs.

Over the years there have been plenty of peripheral players that came and went. I really liked some of them and wondered what we’d do without them. Then I forgot about them when the next season started. Others I can barely remember. And there are some, like Nik Hagman, that I miss terribly.

I still miss Philippe Boucher, even more so because he’s nowhere to be found. I can’t even watch him play on some other team.

I miss Sergei Zubov terribly, too, and I can’t watch him play anywhere, either.

Now I’ll miss Mike Modano terribly and [I’ll have to pretend] I can’t watch him on his new team. I’ll miss Marty Turco, too. I like the Chicago Blackhawks, so I think I can watch him on his new team. I really like their defensemen, so I am anxious to see what they think about a goalie that can pass as well as any d-man.

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The Dallas Stars obviously want to break up with me, but I just can’t let that happen.

• They fired Doug Armstrong and hired nutty Brett Hull.
• They traded Jeff Halpern and Mike Smith.
• They let Nik Hagman just walk.
• They signed Sean Avery (admittedly, they almost got rid of me with that one).
• They traded my beloved Philippe Boucher for a bag of pucks Darryl Sydor.
• Instead of just firing Hull and letting Les Jackson take over, they demoted Jackson, too.
• They hired my original favorite player, Joe Nieuwendyk, to take over, which cannot end well favorite-player-wise.
• They fired my beloved coach, Dave Tippett.
• And if that weren’t bad enough, they hired Marc Crawford to replace him.

They’re obviously trying to get rid of me.

Well, it won’t work!

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Fistric

Mark Fistric is not my official new favorite player. So stop picking on the poor kid!

Sure, I might have entertained that thought. I might have discussed with certain friends, such as Pookie, Schnookie, Myra, Katebits, and Heather B. that he was maybe a frontrunner. And my sisters, maybe. And possibly my mailman. But I never said he was my favorite!

[Do you think they’re buying it?]

Deciding on a favorite player is kind of like househunting. You make your list of what you like and what you don’t like (your must haves and your must not haves), you study the pros and cons of various houses, you kind of like this house or that house because it has lots of pros, but in the end a house picks you.

You find yourself sitting on the couch a month or two after moving in, wondering what exactly it was that compelled you to buy it. And still glad you did.

That’s how this favorite player thing is going. Brad Richards and Brenden Morrow and James Neal and Loui Eriksson and Niklas Grossman and many others all have huge stacks of pros, but I keep coming back to Mark Fistric.

I think it might date back to that one seemingly minor play when he first came up, where he picked up the puck in the corner, then calmly stepped out of the way of a forechecker coming at him at 40 miles an hour, causing said forechecker to SLAM into the wall right next to him. Then he skated away with the puck as if he didn’t notice the guy.

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Have a good life, Boo.

The signature Boucher shot-block.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

The signature Boucher shot-block. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Philippe Boucher has announced his retirement today. Even though the last couple of seasons were tough, he ended his playing career on a high, with his name on the Stanley Cup.

He was an underrated defenseman that could block shots, push people around, and chip in a goal or two. He had a hat trick in November of ’06 on his way to 19 goals and 32 assists. He went to the All-Star Game that season and it was right here in Dallas. He got the biggest ovation of the night.

He had a long career, after some stumbles early, and he made a perfectly good name for himself in the NHL.

He’s a sweet guy. I’ve never heard anybody say anything bad about him. He’s well-spoken and always had great interviews. He actually listened to questions, then answered them, and even elaborated intelligently. I sincerely think he should go into television and maybe join the Fox Sports Southwest crew for the pre-, during-, and post-game shows this season. If he’s not too mad at us.

Being traded is never fun, but I think this trade worked out for Bouche. He got to play alongside Sidney Crosby, and he won a Stanley Cup. What else could a guy ask for?

Whatever he does, I hope he stays in hockey, so we can catch a glimpse of him occasionally…see how he’s doing. I’m going to miss him.

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There’s a new! Uh-huh! Hockey sensation, Uh-huh!

This summer is INTERMINABLE!

If it weren’t for this episode of The Penguins of Madagascar, I’d have gone completely insane.

See, it’s a retelling of the story of the last two Stanley Cup Finals between the adorable Penguins and the sewer-rat Red Wings.

Seriously. I’m not convinced the new hockey season will ever start.

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Philippe Boucher had his Day with the Stanley Cup on the 4th of July. He took it to his home town for a parade and to his “cottage” on the lake for a party with friends and family. He even took it through the drive-thru at McDonalds.

You can read about it on the Hockey Hall of Fame’s Stanley Cup Journal page. You can see some pictures in the gallery, too. (They’re mixed in with other Cup days, but they’re close to the beginning.)

The tradition of letting each player and most of the staff from the Stanley Cup-winning team spend a day with it is just one of many reasons that it’s the best trophy in sports.

I’m so happy for Philippe. This was a crazy season for him. It was a crazy season for the Stars (and for the Pens, for that matter). It’s great that things worked out for him. I think I can stop being upset about his being traded. I wish he were still here, but I’m sure he’d say now that he’s glad he got to go to Pittsburgh.

Bouche’s pal, Stéphane Robidas, was one of his party guests. It sounds like he had some fun, too. His communing with the Cup might be just the mojo the Stars need this season.

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Empty Netters is the best.

Okay, now I’m done.

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