Francois Beauchemin has signed with the Anaheim Ducks for one-year, and will earn $1MM plus up to $500K in performance bonuses. Beauchemin was bought out by the Colorado Avalanche earlier this spring, and will return to the Ducks for a third stint.
Now 37, Beauchemin actually still recorded an average of more than 21 minutes of ice time last season for the Avalanche, a number he’s eclipsed in every season of his 12-year career. One of the most reliable defensive options over the last decade, Beauchemin found his greatest success with the Ducks when he won a Stanley Cup in 2007. Beauchemin at that time was playing third fiddle on the blueline to hall of fame players Scott Niedermayer and Chris Pronger, and will now be asked again to provide some veteran depth to what is a very young group.
Both Hampus Lindholm and Sami Vatanen underwent surgery at the conclusion of the playoffs to repair various injuries, and still both have their season debuts in jeopardy. With that and the loss of Shea Theodore and Clayton Stoner to the Vegas Golden Knights, there was a need to add a depth option to help the Ducks get off to a good start. Jacob Larsson was an option to start the year, but the signing of Beauchemin likely means that the young defender can start in the minor leagues.
[Updated: Anaheim Ducks Depth Chart]
For Beauchemin this season could total as much as $3MM, since the Avalanche are paying him $1.5MM to not play for them. Due to his age, Colorado will still have to deal with his whole $4.5MM cap hit. Moving him would have cost them an asset, something that they clearly didn’t want to do.
Starting his career in Montreal, Beauchemin has played in 836 regular season NHL games and 97 additional playoff contests. He actually has 39 points in those postseason games, a rate significantly higher than his regular season production. For a Ducks team that saw their defensemen play through injury all playoffs only to fall at the hands of the Nashville Predators, adding some experience should help them down the stretch. Beauchemin will likely not be asked to play over 20 minutes a night, but clearly still has the capability to contribute to an NHL team.
Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports was the first to break the deal, and provided the financial details.
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