The first round of the series are coming to an end tonight as the Toronto Maple Leafs face the Boston Bruins in a do or die Game 7. While seven teams have already been eliminated, one veteran player has decided to hang up the skates and call it a career. After 903 games in the National Hockey League, Anaheim Ducks defenseman Francois Beauchemin has announced his retirement late last night.
The 37-year-old defenseman confirmed his retirement on 98.5 Sports radio in Montreal, as he explained that it’s time to take care of his children. Beauchemin is calling it quits after parts of 14 seasons in the NHL.
Selected in the third round back in 1998 by the Montreal Canadiens, Beauchemin struggled through his first few professional seasons and had to spend some time in the ECHL to perfect his game. After he found himself on the waiver wire by the Habs, he was claimed by the Columbus Blue Jackets and then later traded to the Ducks as part of a package for Sergei Fedorov.
It was a great move for his career. He became a significant part of Anaheim's defense In 2006-07, just his second season with the Ducks, Beauchemin raised the Stanley Cup after defeating the Ottawa Senators in five games. He averaged more than 30 minutes per game during that playoff run. What a warrior.
His career would continue with the Toronto Maple Leafs, then back to Anaheim, then to the Colorado Avalanche before finishing with this final season in Anaheim. Beauchemin was bought out by the Avalanche last summer, and signed with the Ducks in the offseason. He was expected to be a depth option while the team dealt with injuries to Sami Vatanen and Hampus Lindholm. He however ended up leading the team in blocked shots and play a key role in getting them back to the postseason.
Beauchemin finishes his career with 288 points in 903 career games, logging over 21,295 minutes in all. He finished fourth in Norris trophy voting during the shortened 2012-13 season, and was named to the Second All-Star Team in the same year.
What a great career, Beauchemin. Now some well deserved time with his family. Bravo!