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Pavel Francouz Officially Announces Retirement



Avalanche francouz

It was hardly a secret, as Chris MacFarland let it spill that this might be coming last month, but on Friday, Colorado Avalanche netminder and Stanley Cup Champion Pavel Francouz announced that he is officially retiring from the game of hockey.

The 33 year old, who had surgery last summer on his adductors that he wasn’t able to recover from, held a press conference in the Czech Republic to announce his decision.

“It is something I have been working towards for the last year. It is an unpleasant, sad matter, but rather I try to look at it as something ends and something new begins. I hope that I still have a long life ahead of me and a lot of joy,” Francouz said in his retirement speech.

Francouz will now become an analyst in his home country for the upcoming World Championships. In addition, he’s looking forward to spending more time with his family, including his young daughter.

Francouz said that winning the Stanley Cup back in 2022, a championship that he played a big part of, was the highlight of his career. Unfortunately, injuries took their toll on him, and are the main reason he’s retiring.

“It wasn’t a difficult decision. The body actually decided for me,” he said in his press conference. “The hardest thing was maybe for the first time in my career to listen to him and not shut his mouth with some pain pills. My body gave me several chances to reach the top, for which I am grateful. At the same time, I realized , that I can no longer try. I still have a normal life ahead of me. I want to be an active athlete with my friends.”

Francouz was as solid a 1B goaltender as you could find in the NHL, and the Avalanche certainly miss him right now. Without him, that 2022 team doesn’t win the Stanley Cup. He came in and won six games while Darcy Kuemper recovered from the eye injury he suffered, even getting a standing ovation after shutting out the Edmonton Oilers in the Conference Finals.

When it was announced he was heading back to the Czech Republic back November, I asked Jared Bednar for his thoughts on Francouz.

“We never (would have) won without him,” Bednar said. “That’s the way I look at it. Everyone has an important role to play. Great story for me, because we bring him over from Europe, he grinds with the Eagles for a couple years, earns a backup position with us. Played really well for us over the course of a few years, the pinnacle being, even fighting through a lot of injuries and surgeries and what not, pinnacle being the playoffs in 2022, right? He goes 6-0 in the playoffs with a goalie injured. It’s an amazing story. He’s a champion with us, and we miss him. We miss him around here, and he was a big part of our championship run. That’s what he’ll be remembered for.”

In the locker room, you couldn’t say a bad word about the Frankie. He was as nice as they come. I still remember towards the end of one of his first NHL starts, he took a shot at the empty net. Bednar loved it because it showed confidence, and Francouz had a big grin on his face in the locker room just talking about trying to score. To me, he might be the best puck-handling goaltender the Avalanche have ever had.

Best of luck to Pavel Francouz in retirement, and he’ll always be a winner to Avalanche fans.

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