If history suggests anything, the Francois Beauchemin situation in Anaheim is one worth monitoring.
Beauchemin, who turns 35 in May, is in the last of a three-year, $10.5 million deal with the Ducks and slated to hit unrestricted free agency this summer. He’s a key cog for Anaheim — averaging 23:06 TOI per game, second-most on the team — and said he’d like to stay in Orange County, where he’s spent 10 of his 13 NHL seasons.
“It would be tough if I would have to leave, I’m not going to lie,” Beauchemin said, per the O.C. Register. “I would love to finish my career here. A few more years. … It’s been our house. It’s been our home for 10 years. And the kids, they’re at school, they have their friends. They have sports and they have their routine going. So it would be really hard for us to move.
“Sometimes it’s part of the business. Sometimes teams want to go in another direction with some players. Hopefully that’s not the case with me.”
According to Beauchemin, there have been no “concrete” discussions with Ducks GM Bob Murray about a new deal. While that’s not entirely strange — the Ducks are gunning for a Cup run and he’s not going to be traded, so extension talks could be distracting — it does make one wonder if history could repeat itself.
During the 2008-09 campaign, Beauchemin, then property of the Ducks and a pending UFA, made it clear he wanted to stay in Anaheim, and “waited all year long” for the club to make him an offer.
That offer never came, though, and he proceeded to sign with Toronto… but not without hard feelings towards his ex-employer.
Asked if he really had heard nothing at all from the Ducks, Beauchemin said he waited fruitlessly until Saturday, when he agreed to terms with Toronto.
“They told me back in November they were going to offer me something,” Beauchemin said. “The day I got hurt, everything kind of changed. They did not make me an offer. They did not talk to me all year long.
“I waited all year long and I waited all summer long until Saturday — no offers.
“Yeah, I am a little bit disappointed by them. Obviously, I had four great years there. When you play in a place for four years and win a Stanley Cup, it’s always tough to leave, but at the same time, when they don’t want you, it’s time to move on.”
Murray, who was in his first year on the job back then, painted a different picture, saying he was told to make Beauchemin an offer but declined doing so because he didn’t want to “insult” the veteran with a low ball. The Ducks GM did eventually make good with Beauchemin, acquiring him from Toronto in 2011, then signing him to his current deal in the summer of 2012.
All of which brings us back to the present.
Beauchemin understands things have changed in Anaheim — he knows the future of the blueline revolves around Cam Fowler, Hampus Lindholm and Sami Vatanen — but says he’d like to stay regardless, and is willing to bide his time.
“I hope they see me here for a couple more years,” he explained.