Hockey season is coming.
All the signs are there.
The days are getting shorter and the nights are getting cooler.
Lidstrom is increasing the time spent icing his sack.
Ovechkin is devoting more time to Semin.
Pierre McGuire and Mike Richards are locked in a hotel room on a three day, four night leadership retreat.
Mats Sundin still doesn't know if he wants to play and Jim Balsillie is failing at buying a hockey team.
Yes, it's definitely almost hockey season.
Philippe Boucher has announced his retirement.
Boucher came to the Penguins in November in exchange for Darryl Sydor.
He provided a veteran presence on the Pens blue line and in the locker room.
A defining moment in his season came in game five of the Final.
He wasn't playing, but after Marc-Andre Fleury was pulled Boucher (along with Petr Sykora) came down to talk with Fleury and provide encouragement.
His stabilizing presence was definitely a plus.
There was talk about him returning to the Pens next season in a mentor-type role, but he decided to go out as a Stanley Cup Champion.
"I have always admired athletes that have retired as champions and I am humbled to have the chance to count myself among them."
-- Philippe Boucher
Boucher's retirement leaves the Pens with only six defensemen with any NHL experience.