The news was released today that François Bouchard’s 2018/19 campaign for the Dundee Stars is unfortunately over. An injury sustained over three weeks ago will keep him sidelined for the remainder of the season.
With word coming in the form of a club statement, the news that the 30 year old Sherbooke, QC native will no longer ice is far from music to the ears of Stars’ fans. Especially as playoffs draw closer, his offensive touch will be missed as he will now assist Omar Pacha from behind the bench and behind the scenes.
His campaign started slow with somewhat of an adjustment period. During October’s eight games he collected 1+2 for 3 points which understandably left fans wanting more. It was no coincidence this time period also included much of the Stars’ struggles with OT and shootout losses. He was a catalyst and the Stars often went as he did. Forming somewhat of a French connection with fellow winger Matt Bissonnette the pair could really create chances from very little. Bouchard found his form and began producing, with a flair for the big stage even.
His biggest game of the year came in the Stars’ only televised game of the season, scoring a hattrick in a 6-4 home win over Belfast Giants. Bissonnette assisting on two of the three markers. Something of a Steeler killer also, Bouchard amassed 10 of his 35 points on the season against the Yorkshire side. To further illustrate his value, the Stars held a record of 10-3-4 when the Québécois was on the scoresheet. He remains even now second in team scoring, needless to say the production will have to pick up elsewhere.
His experience and presence on the bench will no doubt help the Stars as they push for playoff qualification. With any luck Bouchard can bring on the team’s Powerplay from the sidelines. Though recently improved it still sits with a league-worst conversion rate of 12.4%. The test tonight against a surging Glasgow Clan will be one of redemption as the last meeting between the two in Braehead ended with the home side 9-2 to the good. Losing their last four decision, three of which after regulation the Stars have to end this run and get back in the win column to remain in the hunt. They face off in Glasgow tonight at 7:30pm.
Photo credit: Derek Black