Pierre-Marc Bouchard's return to the ice Saturday, Jan. 19, will be one subplot on a night of many in the Wild's season opener.

There likely will be more attention on Zach Parise and Ryan Suter's debuts, as well as the arrival of rookie sensation Mikael Granlund. But Bouchard's return could be just as important to the Wild in a 48-game season.

The forward, who hasn't played since he was elbowed in the head on Jan. 4, 2012, has been cleared to return from concussion symptoms, and will play on the Wild's third line with Cal Clutterbuck and Kyle Brodziak, giving the team a slick playmaker on each of its top three lines. He also will man one of the points on the Wild's first power-play unit.

For Bouchard, it will be a victory just to get back on the ice.

"Right at the start, when I had my concussion, I was a little discouraged and everything," Bouchard said. "I just stayed confident and positive that I was able to get back 100 percent."