March 24, 1973 - When the Buffalo Sabres drafted Philippe Boucher in the first round in 1991, they hoped he would have a very long career in professional hockey. He did exactly that; it just wasn't with the Sabres' organization for a very long time.
Boucher was quite an offensive defenseman in junior hockey, piling up more than a point per game with the Granby Bisons. That got the Sabres' attention, and they took him 13th overall in the Entry Draft.
The defenseman joined the Sabres during the 1992-93 season, and played in Buffalo and in Rochester. That started a pattern. The next season, Boucher played for both teams. It was more of the same in 1994-95.
On Feb. 14, 1995, Boucher found a new home. He went to the Los Angeles Kings with Grant Fuhr and Denis Tsygurov for Alexei Zhitnik, Charlie Huddy and Robb Stauber. Boucher spent the next seven seasons in the Kings' organization. He couldn't earn a regular spot in the big leagues until the 2001-02 season, when he participated in 80 games for the Kings.
From there, Boucher spent almost six years as a regular for the Dallas Stars. He had a career-high 19 goals in 2006-07, and played in the NHL All-Star Game.
Boucher had part of one more season in his after leaving Dallas. He played 25 games for Pittsburgh, and then retired.
--- Budd Bailey