I am currently in my 16th year with the Ducks organization and of all the great players I’ve had the chance to work with, one of my all-time favorites continues to be Francois Beauchemin.
The rugged defenseman spent parts of 10 seasons with the Ducks and was a mainstay on the Ducks’ blueline during their 2007 Stanley Cup Championship Season.
After he retired in 2018, he and his family built their dream home in a small town outside of Montreal. The home just happens to include a mini size hockey rink complete with Ducks logos for his kids to skate on and hone their skills.
Once I discovered this and saw pictures, I knew it was a place I had to visit. I immediately looked on the travel schedule and noticed we had a day off in Montreal in February.
When I reached out to him, he was all in. So, I rented a car on my day off and was on my way. The drive was just over an hour and most of the terrain was flat and covered with a fresh blanket of snow.
Once I arrived, he greeted me at the door then it was time to get our skates on! He directed me to his garage, where part of it had been converted to a locker room for him and his kids. I laced up my skates and then we headed out the back door, walked down a short path then we were skating on his ice rink! It was awesome!!
With mini-goals on both ends, a Ducks logo at center ice, and a view that seemed to go on forever behind it, the set up was perfect!
After skating around and taking shots, Beauch asked me if I wanted to take his snowmobiles for a spin. Considering I had never been before, I said yes!
We were quickly geared up, fired up the snowmobiles and took off in his backyard. I was on one of his kid’s machines which would go no faster than 40mph, but I thought I was going twice as fast. Beauch on the other hand was on the adult version and hit speeds over 80mph. It was exhilarating!
After racing through the snow, it was back inside his house and tour of his wine cellar. After his time in California, Beauch started to dabble in wines and his collection is quite impressive.
The afternoon was truly an amazing experience. Thanks to Beauch and a special thanks to his wife Marie Claude who did most of the filming!!
Until next time,