(Volume 1, Number 3—June 1975)
by Annette E. Cuomo
Donald Richard Boucher, pronounced Donald Reeshard Booshay, sounds like a very tough name, but, number 6 Rick Boucher, is a very tough lacrosse player. Rick is a Gemini (June 5, 1953) and everyone knows how quickly a Gemini can change moods. Luckily, he isn’t like that on the floor. Rick is a good consistent lacrosse player, who plays hard and rough all the time. A native of Huntsville, Ontario, Rick spent 7 years playing Jr. Lacrosse with the Surrey Jr. A team from where he was drafted. Bouch is a very active person who keeps his activities in tune with the seasons. In winter he enjoys skidooing and ice fishing on any one of the many lakes in Canada. In the fall Rick keeps busy hunting. Most of his activities evolve [sic] around sports. He enjoys participating in any sport; but, he doesn’t enjoy being a spectator at all. With the warm weather, Rick’s interests turn to golfing, canoeing, boating and playing tennis. One of the few things he doesn’t do too well is play soccer. After an active day in the sun or snow, whatever the weather be, Bouch enjoys watching a good movie on television. His favorite movies are “the blood and guts kind.” Although he is very serious about lacrosse, off the floor he can be a real prankster. Recently, while out for a day with good friend Pete Guerin, Rick and Pete promised to bring something back to teammate State Shipley; unfortunately, they forgot their promise ‘til they almost reached home. Not wanting to return empti-handed [sic] Rick stopped at a nearby pond and found the perfect gift for Steve…a dead carp! It might be interesting to know how Shipley reacted to that little treat.
On the floor Rick Boucher has his own style, one which he enjoys using. “I don’t think I want to change my style,” says Boucher, “they let me do my own thing, but they want me to pick my spots.”
The hard hitting games are always the most interesting to watch and Rick agrees. “I like a hard hitting, rough game,” he says, “but I like clean hard hitting. That game in Maryland got out of hand. That brawl would have never come about if the refs had cracked down.” Bouch proves the theory that a professional has to play a different style against different teams. “Maryland tries to scare us off the ball. Sometimes it looks like they’re doing it, but, they’re not. Boston has the size but they don’t use it except with Lewthwaite. Ivan’s (Thompson) always been a mild defensemen [sic]. If you try to push him, he’ll let you know he’s being pushed, otherwise, he kind of just stands back.” Some players pick certain teams that they enjoy beating; but, not Rick Boucher. “I like to beat any team,” he says, “the league is getting too close now. We’re not winning on the road like we should and we’re not winning the kind of games at home that we should.”
Most people agree that the temporary loss of Jim Hickey on the face offs is hurting the Wings. “Some face-off specialists get at least 50% of the face-offs; but, Hick averages at least 80% or better…If you can control from the face-off you can control the whole play and the power play and penalty killing all working for you, you have the game won.”
Boucher isn’t sure why the Wings aren’t winning as they should, but his guess is “the guys just aren’t up for the games. When they push us around in their own rinks we kind of back down. Maybe we really need the fans behind us.” Boucher is known to some as the caveman, a name he got when he broke his jaw in 1972. The caveman gave this account of the incident. “Well, I went down the floor, across through the zone, shot the ball, scored, turned around and got hit in the jaw, two-handed. I don’t even know who did it, but he didn’t play the rest of the season.” Caveman has his own feeling about the refs, too. “I think they’re out for us. They think of us as the Flyers; as the most penalized team. We have the same refs for quite a few games and they’re watching us, so they’re after us.” Bouch doesn’t blame everything on the referees though. He thinks he “lacks more self control. I really get down on myself when I make mistakes and it doesn’t last for just one game. I play worse.” Whether or not he gets down on himself too often can probably affect his game of course, but his outlook for the 1975 season is an optimistic view. “I have a goal of 100 points for the season; hopefully, I’ll achieve it. Hopefully, we’ll end up in first place and then we’ll win ‘er!” That won’t be too hard with a team effort. Bouch plays well with former teammates from Western Canada, Daryl McColl and Pete Guerin. Daryl and Rick spent two years together on the same line. He then played another year on a line with Peter Guerin.
Rick Boucher is not all lacrosse player. He wants to spend some time at the shore points for fun in the sun and also wants to do some deep sea fishing. When the season is over he plans to drive back to Huntsville. In January he may spend some time in the Caribean [sic]. Then it’s out west again for a while. “I want to come back to the Wings. I’ve been treated so well here. The fans are just great. They’re behind you all the way. But, if you’re not putting out they let you know about it.”
There is so much more to the man who plays hard and consistently, likes ethnic jokes, steak and not spaghetti before a game, is too smart to fight Doug Hayes and ignores his roommates cutting remarks. But his final note for the season is “I just want to win and have a good time…in that order.”