Andre Benoit signed a one-year contract July 5, 2011 with the Avalanche. Benoit, 29, appeared in 33 regular season games last year, tallying 10 points (3g/7a) and scoring two game-winning goals with the Ottawa Senators. In five playoff games with Ottawa, the St. Albert, Ontario native had three assists. An undrafted free agent, Benoit made his NHL debut Feb. 18, 2011 after playing five years in the AHL and Europe. He recently talked with ColoradoAvalanche.com during training camp.
Q: How was it playing for Ottawa, kind of your hometown team?
A: It was nice to play there. I moved away when I was 15, but I still have a lot of aunts, uncles, and cousins there so it's nice to have family there. But I'm excited about the opportunity here to get better hockey wise and Denver's beautiful.
Q: Have you had an opportunity to get out and enjoy the city of Denver?
A: Yeah, we did some things with the kids. We went to the zoo, the aquarium, an amusement park, a Rockies game, and we went to the water park. There are lots to do and the kids are really enjoying it so it's fun.
Q: What is the best advice you received about making it to this level of hockey?
A: You just can't give up. Sometimes it's tough, you can get beaten down. But if you keep working hard, good things will happen. Whether you get to where you want or not, you leave it all out there.
Q: What is your favorite pre-game meal?
A: I've always been a chicken and spaghetti kind of guy, but last year I switched to steak and it was working for me. Just some sort of protein and veggies.
Q: If you had a breakaway, who do you want to see between the pipes: Jiggy, Varly or Roy?
A: I don't know the guys that well yet to throw anybody under the bus. Probably Jiggy, I've been watching him play for a long time, and it would be nice to score on him.
Q: What do you remember about your first training camp?
A: It was nice getting a feel for a pro camp and then going back to juniors obviously. You learn at every camp you go to and that's how you get better. It pays off.
Q: Who was your favorite player growing up?
A: I switched a lot, but probably Rocket Richard. Being French-Canadian, growing up, I never really saw him play but just the stories you hear, he was a special player.