Teams are starting to trim up their roster for the upcoming expansion draft and offseason. On Wednesday, the New York Rangers announced they were going to buy out NHL veteran Dan Girardi. The Colorado Avalanche followed their footsteps on Thursday by buying out Francois Beauchemin. Beauchemin made his NHL debut in the 02-03 season, and has been with five teams since. In the 2015 off-season, Colorado signed Beauchemin to a three year deal worth $4.5 million a year.
Colorado Avalanche to Buy Out Francois Beauchemin
Despite being 35 at the time of the signing, Beauchemin performed well with Colorado. In the 2015-16 season, he tallied 34 points in 82 games. For an older defenseman, that’s relatively impressive. Last season was a bit tougher for Beauchemin though. He only had 18 points, despite playing in 81 games.
Beauchemin had a ‘No Movement Clause’ on his contract, meaning he’d have to be protected in the expansion draft. Considering his age and rough past season, he wasn’t worth the protection. The buyout allows Colorado to instead protect Nikita Zadorov and Tyson Barrie, as well as Erik Johnson who also has a no movement clause.
The expansion draft is the main reason the Avalanche bought out Beauchemin. Due to his age, he still counts as a $4.5 million cap hit next season.
Beauchemin will look to latch on with a new team. If he does not get a good offer he will most likely join the list of players that will announce their retirement this season. He’s now 37, and would need to sign a much cheaper contract, if teams are even interested.
Beauchemin would leave a nice career behind him if he did choose to retire. Nine of his 14 years in the NHL were spent with the Anaheim Ducks. With the Ducks, Beauchemin won the 2007 Stanley Cup. He was also on the 2012-13 NHL All Star team. While it’s not guaranteed he’ll retire, it looked like he was running out of gas last season. With the accolades he’s received, and his age, there’d be no reason for him not to.
SAN JOSE, CA – JANUARY 21: Francois Beauchemin #32 of the Colorado Avalanche skates against the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center on January 21, 2017 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Rocky W. Widner/NHL/Getty Images)