Pierre-Marc Bouchard and the Wild have avoided salary arbitration and agreed upon a five-year, $20.4 million contract.
The contract was finalized on Friday. There is apparently a verbal side deal (that is likely not enforceable) that Minnesota will not trade Bouchard for at least two years. The 24-year-old was the team's second-leading scorer in 2007-08 with 63 points in 81 games and has registered 221 in 354 games in the NHL, all with the Wild. Bouchard does not score many goals nor does he accumulate significant penalty minutes, but he is a terrific playmaker and is usually amongst the NHL's leaders in assists. He is cetainly worth drafting in the middle rounds of most hockey pools.