Pro Hockey in France
For the past 9 seasons, Andre Menard has being playing hockey in Europe. Andre has played an impressive 200+ regular season games of pro hockey in France for both Courbevoie and Caen. He was kind enough to answer some questions for us based on his experience playing hockey in France.
Player's Name: Andre Menard
Which club do you play this season?
For Drakkars de Caen in France Division 1
What is your favorite part about playing hockey in Europe? Is it the fans, teammates, beautiful city.
All of the above.
# of years of pro have you played in Europe in total?
What's it like off the ice in Europe
Away from the ice rink, what has your experience of living and playing pro hockey in Europe been like?
The experience has been great. Both my parents were actually born in Europe so I had a pretty good grasp of the language as well as the culture so it was easy to adapt.
How would you best describe the systems or the style of hockey in France?
The league is mostly played on olympic sheets therefore a much less physical game and based more on speed. Refs are also extremely strict in France and call games pretty tight.
How many import players are allowed per team in the league? How did you like playing there with the other imports at the rink and away from it?
10 import players are allowed but rules are changing to lower the amount. It has been a great experience playing with guys from all different countries. Sharing stories etc.
What is a favorite story of yours from playing hockey in France?
Well first road trip I went on was definitely an eye opener. First off, before getting on the bus I saw our team captain (older French guy) hiding behind a bush smoking a cigarette. Proceed to head onto the bus and sit across from another guy who pulled out 4 cell phones from his bag. I asked him if he was a drug dealer and he answered. “Nope, this phone is for a girlfriend of 4 years, this one is for a gf of 2 years, this one is a gf of 6 months and this one is for a gf of 3 months.” I was like oh boy this is going to one interesting year.
Where do you currently live in during the off season and what do you like doing for fun in the summer?
I split my time between New York/New Jersey, Florida and Greece in the summer. Usually like hanging with friends, golfing and going to the beach.
Final question: what's a favorite word/phrase you learned (or like using) in the foreign language over in France?
On joue avec le merde au cul!
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