Pierre Bouchard was thoroughly versed in Montreal Canadiens' lore and tradition long before he donned his own Habs' jersey. His father, Butch Bouchard, was a Hall of Fame rearguard for the Canadiens during the 1940s and '50s. As a youngster, Pierre would hang out in the dressing room soaking up the crackling energy of the Richards, Beliveau, and the like as they prepared for the night's game.
While trying his own hand at the sport, the younger Bouchard had to, at times, fight his way through the adversity of trying to live up to his father's reputation. It was not uncommon for observers to yell out that he'd never be as good as his father during to odd youth hockey game.
But Bouchard played his own determined brand of hockey. He put in two seasons with the Montreal Junior Canadiens from 1966 to 1968. He then turned pro in the Habs' chain, first with the Cleveland Barons and then with the Montreal Voyageurs, both of the AHL. In 1970-71, however, the Canadiens launched themselves on a rethreading project after having missed the playoffs the year before. A number of new and young faces were brought on board, including Bouchard's.
Over his first four years with the club, his ice-time was somewhat limited. With Robinson, Lapointe and Savard garnering the lion's share of action, Bouchard became a member of "the other two" which was made up of himself and Bill Nyrop.
But after sharpening his game over time, Bouchard began to get more and more ice time. And although he was the team's policeman, he preferred to play it clean, handling the rough stuff only when it came knocking at his door. Otherwise, he earned his bread and butter as a rugged, stay-at-home defender in the mold of his father.
Over his eight seasons in a Habs' uniform, Bouchard savoured five Stanley Cup victories. With such success under his belt, it came as a real blow when the Washington Capitals claimed him on waivers in 1978. An understanding had been arranged to have Bouchard sent right back to Montreal, but league president John Zigler nixed the maneuver. As such, Bouchard had to remain with the Caps.
He stuck it out with the club for three seasons until he was demoted to the Hershey Bears of the AHL. He completed the season and then packed it in for good in 1982.