Alexandre Bolduc was back on the ice Thursday for the Chicago Wolves for the first time in nearly a month. Bolduc took leave in early November to be with his family in Montreal after his mother suffered a brain aneurism.
"We were really close to losing her," Bolduc said after Thursday's practice at the Triphahn Center in Hoffman Estates. "She battled, battled harder than I’ve ever seen anyone battle in my life. It was pretty intense there for the first few days. But she came through. She’s a warrior."
The return to the Wolves provided some welcome normalcy for Bolduc, who missed eight games. Most importantly was that it signaled his mother improved enough in her recovery that he felt he could leave her side. It also meant Bolduc could put hockey on the front burner for a while again.
"It was good to see everyone again. I missed the guys a lot," he said. "A good way to get your mind off things sometimes is to just start playing some games, get some wins, and that’s what I’m here to do."
While in Montreal, Bolduc said he got some practice time in with a local midget Triple-A team. But Thursday was his first true practice since leaving the Wolves after their Nov. 9 game in Charlotte.
"They know what to do to get me back in shape, and I do too," Bolduc said of the Wolves coaches. "I’ve been around long enough to know where I need to be. Hopefully on Saturday at game time I’ll be ready."
Coach John Anderson said he isn't sure when Bolduc will get back in the lineup. The Wolves have back-to-back games with Oklahoma City on Saturday and Sunday at Allstate Arena.
"It’s been almost two weeks and he hasn’t skated," Anderson said. "Well, he skated where he was, but it’s not like going out and practicing here. So we’ll have to decide how we’re going to put him in the lineup and how we’re going to get him in. We’ll see how it goes."
Bolduc, one of the Wolves alternate captains and veteran-rule players, had three goals and two assists in his first 11 games with the Wolves.
He said he plans to return home around Christmas to be with his mother for the holidays. The Wolves are off from Dec. 23-26, but Bolduc didn't say if he would miss any games while back in Montreal.
Although his mother is physically better, Bolduc said she suffered significant memory loss from the aneurism.
"It’s going to be a long process," he said. "She has a long way to go still, but at least physically she’s still with us. That was the most important thing."