Colorado Avalanche: 4 Super Facts about Pierre-Edouard Bellemare

LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 26: Pierre-Edouard Bellemare #41 of the Vegas Golden Knights skates with the puck against the Colorado Avalanche during the game at T-Mobile Arena on March 26, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/NHLI via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 26: Pierre-Edouard Bellemare #41 of the Vegas Golden Knights skates with the puck against the Colorado Avalanche during the game at T-Mobile Arena on March 26, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/NHLI via Getty Images) /

The Colorado Avalanche added a slew of new players in July, including free agency forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare. Here are some facts to get to know the grinder.

The Colorado Avalanche signed forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare in free agency. They gave him a contract worth $1.8 million annually for two years.

Bellemare is a 34-year-old grinder who’s expected to take Gabriel Bourque‘s spot in the lineup. In 385 NHL games, he has 2 goals and 36 assists for 65 points. He’s a fourth-liner.

Those are the bare-bones facts about the Colorado Avalanche’s new forward. Below are some super facts that can help you get a better feeling for who Pierre-Edouard Bellemare really is.

1.  Pierre-Edouard Bellemare is NOT French-Canadian

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When you see a French name in the NHL, you just assume he hails from somewhere in the French-Canadian province of Quebec. I know that’s the assumption I made with Pierre-Edouard Bellemare. However, the man is actually a Frenchie.

Bellemare was born in Le Blanc-Mesnil, France. The town is a suburb of Paris. He made France’s top professional league, Synerglace Ligue Magnus, as a 17-year-old in 2002. He played for the Dragons de Rouen for four seasons.

2. Pierre-Edouard Bellemare went to Medical School

Hockey is still a fledgling sport in France, which is why you immediately associate Quebec Province of Canada when you see a French name. So, though Bellemare himself was determined to play professional hockey, he also dedicated himself to school.

Part of that dedication came in the form of preparing for medical school. And, at the age of 20, he entered medical school to become a chiropractor.

However, at the end of his first year of medical school, he received a contract offer to play hockey for Leksands Idrottsforening. This team is in the second-highest tier of Swedish hockey, Hockeyallsvenskan. Bellemare decided to quit medical school and focus on hockey.

3. Pierre-Edouard Bellemare Speaks Three Languages

Pierre-Edouard Bellemare naturally grew up speaking France. And, I can tell you after having traveled in France myself, the French generally have little interest in learning other languages.

However, as mentioned above, Bellemare got recruited to play in the Swedish league Hockeyallsvenskan. He played for Leksands IF of that league for three seasons and another five seasons for Skellefteå AIK of the Swedish Elite League for an additional five seasons.

Eventually, though, Bellemare came to North America to play for first the Philadelphia Flyers and then the Vegas Golden Knights. So, he grew up with French, learned Swedish, and eventually took up English.

4. Pierre-Edouard Bellemare Shaved his Head for Breast Cancer Awareness

You are probably familiar with Movember, a time when men grow their facial hair (in November) to raise awareness for prostate cancer. Many hockey players partake in this campaign, not least because they’re men and the likely possible victims of prostate cancer.

Well, on October 2, 2018, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare did something different entirely. He joined patients and survivors at Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada and shaved his head to raise awareness for breast cancer.

He said of the act:

"“I figured if I could shave my head, maybe they would see that as a less negative situation. I’m just a normal person. The only difference is that I do a sport and work my entire life to be able to be a part of a team. And because of that it has put me in a position where I can do something as little as just shaving my head.”"

He went on to note that both of his wife’s grandparents had died of cancer, her grandmother specifically of breast cancer that moved to the brain. He acknowledged:

"“To know what they had to go through every day for the entire cancer … it’s just a decent perspective that you get. It’s something that is so devastating for a woman to have to shave their head. It’s like a big part of a woman.”"

I’ve worked with women battling cancer who have to shave their heads. It’s awful. It’s heartbreaking. For Bellemare to participate so fully in this cause… well, that’s enough for me to welcome him to Avs Nation with open arms.

Next. Secret of Kadri and Burky. dark

Pierre-Edouard Bellemare isn’t going to make a huge impact points-wise on the Colorado Avalanche. However, besides being a standup citizen, Pebbles (or, as I like to call him, Belley) looks to be a positive influence on the team and the community.