Seeing how little Burns and Bouchard actually play, I'm wondering if it was wise to keep them around. Both are earning big bucks, and if you think about it, Bouchard comes up for a new contract next season already. Gaborik was different because he was obviously ready to play regularly and contribute. I know these guys are learning from the coaches and practices and all that, but really, if they aren't ready to play on a semi-regular basis, why pay out money, years of service, etc.? Who knows what kind of moves these guys might have developed with regular ice time in game conditions.
In addition, there are more NHL ready guys in Houston, Wallin and Wanvig in particular, who could be getting their shot now as opposed to rotting away in the minors.
In conclusion, I question the Wild's resource management.
As far as Burns' situation, I think he was signed early due to fear from the Gaborik and Dupuis holdouts. This was a desperation move IMO. Not only to help out with scoring, but also to avoid a total media backlash. They needed a new fresh face to promote while sticky negotiations were going on. With playing time there to give him, they probably figured it was the best of both worlds. Notice once Marian and Pascal were signed, he immediately suffered an Injury. Funny, we need the roster spots, IR you go. WJC's roll around and he is in perfect health, out he goes to represent Team Canada. Comes back to be scratched on a daily basis.
I think practicing and hanging out with the team is helping his psyche, but his game may suffer in the long run if he doesn't get more playing time, either here, or if possible, Juniors.
PMB I'm pretty indifferent on. Plays against smaller teams at home and that is it. Might have been better served scoring 1000 pts in Juniors , but with that size...man I guess I understand their point of view on this one.
Let's not talk about Houston, it's a mess down there.
But yes in the end I think Burns came up too quickly but Bouchard had little to gain by staying in the CHL. Problem is that stupid 20 year old rule for the AHL so they couldn't be moved down to the AHL.
I've got no problem with one guy being brought in slowly and used sparingly. I think that can work pretty well with the right player. Two guys, on the other hand, is not a good thing, in my opinion. I'm disappointed that Bouchard is in a situation where he's scratched this often. The gameday page had an audio interview with Lemaire where he talked about Bouchard. I guess he pulled Bouchard aside after practice and had a bit of a talk with him. I think Lemaire expected to be using him more than he is.
Or like Roche and Schultz. After a few years Schultz is playing great, got his O game back. While Roche is leading the Houstan D in points again and is 5 points off the team lead with 14 less games played. Leads the team in assists. So LeMaire gives Roche a 13 game show case and Schultz gets 2 years. I like Nick alot, i am very happy he is with the wild. Just like i like PM and Burns. But they have guranted chances for a few yeras, while Roche, Wanvig, Wallin(did need some extra North American style practice) and Veillieux who get four to fifteen game looks. Pm and probally Burns would not have learned much in juniors, but they are not quite ready for the pros, they need a new agreement in the next union meeting.