It's been a hard summer for veteran NHL'ers to find teams, as a lot of proven players sit still on the sidelines, waiting for an offer to come in, with training camps opening right around the corner. Philippe Boucher has decided he's not waiting any more and will hang up his skates and retire a champion, ala Jerome Bettis.
"I have always admired athletes that have retired as champions and I am humbled to have the chance to count myself among them," said Boucher. "I would like to take this opportunity to thank my teammates, my coaches and the organizations I played with over the years. I am going to miss being with the boys."
The 36-year old native of Ste-Apollinaire, Quebec finishes with exactly 300 points (94 goals, 206 assists). His best season was with the Dallas Stars in 2006-07, when he had 19 goals, 32 assists, and represented the Western Conference at the All-Star Game.
Boucher was effective for the Penguins since he was acquired in November 2008 for fellow veteran defenseman Darryl Sydor. (Sydor himself remains a free agent and likely could have played his last game in the NHL)
The Pens found use in Boucher, giving him time on power-plays and penalty kills. But they also had him slotted as a 6/7 defenseman and Boucher never got into the swing of things in the Dan Bylsma regime after a foot injury cost the defenseman Febraury - April this season. Still, he played nine playoff games, scoring one goal (the game winner against Carolina) and registered three assists. He helped the Pens to the Cup and for that we owe him well-wishes into retirement.