In defenseman Francois Beauchemin, the Anaheim Ducks saw what the Colorado Avalanche could not. Ducks general manager Bob Murray wants Beauchemin, 37, to tutor his young defensemen and be a leader in the locker room, whether he’s playing or not.
Months ago before the Avalanche bought out the final year of Beauchemin’s contract ($4.5 million), I had the same thoughts when learning Colorado intends to introduce three young defensemen to the league. I thought Beauchemin, an alternate captain last season, would be the ideal mentor, a player/coach who would not disrupt the locker room if he was assigned a third-pairing role, or even being told he was a healthy scratch.
“He will bring valuable leadership and help our young defensemen build character and be successful NHL players, as Francois has been in his career,” Murray told reporters Monday, after signing Beauchemin to a one-year, $1 million contract. “We feel Francois still has a lot to give, and his passion and drive to win is unquestioned.”
Beauchemin, who has played 525 games for Anaheim and is now beginning his third stint with the team, will still get his entire buyout agreement with the Avs, who will pay him $1.5 million to play against them this coming season, and another $1.5 million in 2018-19 when Beauchemin is in the first year of retirement. Because of the age 35-over rule, Colorado also has Beauchemin’s $4.5 million 2017-18 salary serve as dead money against its cap.
The Avs have just three signed veteran defensemen in…Read More