Taking Liberties With … Francois Beauchemin
Position: Defenseman, Colorado Avalanche
Hometown: Sorel, Quebec, Canada
Last Amateur Team: Moncton Wildcats (QMJHL)
Colorado Rubber: What advice do you have for a young hockey player and his/her parents?
Francois Beauchemin: Enjoy the game. Just go out there and have fun. The game of hockey is fun and you’re not supposed to take it too serious when you’re that young.
CR: What is your game-day routine and pregame meal?
FB: I get to the rink pretty early, get a good stretch and warm up. This year, we haven’t done a whole lot of morning skates, so we just get a good stretch in the morning, do our meetings and the pregame meal is usually always the same meal: chicken noodle soup, grilled chicken with pasta and veggies.
CR: What is your favorite sport outside hockey and why?
FB: Baseball. Used to play baseball when I was younger until I was 15 years old. I love the game. I’m starting to watch a little bit more football, just because of being here (in Denver), but baseball was my second sport growing up. I was drafted in juniors for hockey and I quit baseball because I couldn’t do both anymore.
CR: What is your favorite/best hockey moment before playing in the NHL?
FB: Winning the President’s Cup Quebec Major Junior Hockey League championship in 1998-99. I was with the Acadie-Bathurst Titan. That was my favorite good moment. My favorite bad moment was losing Game 7 of the Calder Cup Final of the American Hockey League in 2003. I was with the Hamilton Bulldogs, at home, Game 7. That was a tough one.
CR: If you weren’t playing hockey for a living, what would you be doing?
FB: I would be working on the farm back home. My father has a farm, just growing corn and peas – all agriculture, no animals. That’s what I’m going to do when I retire, move back home. It’s all set up.
CR: What is your favorite aspect of living on a farm?
FB: Just being outside all day. I love being outside and working the process of agriculture – getting your soil ready and seeing the corn grow. It’s a pretty cool thing.
CR: What’s the most challenging aspect of playing in the NHL?
FB: Being consistent is the main thing. It’s hard. It takes a lot of focus, a lot of energy and practice, but I think it’s the key to going through an 82-game season. You need to be consistent to be successful.
CR: What is your favorite destination spot and why?
FB: When I was in California, we used to go to Cabo, Mexico, as a family during the All-Star break. That’s become our favorite place to go.
CR: Who was the player you most idolized growing up and why?
FB: Ray Bourque. He was the best defenseman in the NHL. Just a steady, all-around defenseman. I watched a lot of his games.
CR: Do you see a lot of similarities with Bourque?
FB: I don’t have his skating ability, but that’s the guy I was looking to become when I was growing up.
CR: What’s the one thing people should know about you?
FB: I have a lot of character. I work hard every day to try to be the best I can be out there. Work ethic is one thing I take big pride in. I know how it is to be in the minors. I was in the minors five years before coming into the NHL. I know how to work hard and be patient.
Photo/Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images
— Compiled by Mike Chambers