Kraken Camp Video: Why You’ll Love Pierre-Edouard Bellemare

SEATTLE, WA – Seattle training camp continued Friday at Kraken Community Iceplex, with new rounds of drills, scrimmages, and conditioning exercises. Among the new campers is Pierre-Edouard Bellmare, the pride of Le Blanc-Mesnil, France.

Pierre brings to the Kraken veteran savvy, penalty killing know-how, faceoff expertise, and a smile as wide as the Columbia river. Get to know Bellemare in today’s Kraken Reaction video.

Kraken Agree to Terms with Veteran Forward Bellemare

SEATTLE, WA – The Kraken continued to restock fourth-line options Friday, agreeing to terms with veteran forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, 38, on a one-year contract ($775K average annual value).

Born in Le Blanc-Mesnil, France, Bellemare has enjoyed a late-starting but successful career. He has played nine seasons in the NHL, not making his league debut until 2014 at age 29. He moved through multiple European leagues, playing in France and Sweden, before getting a chance with the Philadelphia Flyers.

He was only the ninth player born in France to reach the NHL at the time. He went on to break Antoine Roussel’s league record for most games played by a Frenchman with his 608th career game Dec. 1. He trails only Roussel in career goals, assists and points.

Pierre-Edouard Bellemare Named a Finalist for the Masterton Trophy

TORONTO, ONT – The Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy is awarded annually by the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to ice hockey.

A player from each team is nominated by the local chapter. The list will be narrowed to three finalists and a winner named at the NHL Awards on June 26. Pierre-Edouard Bellemare was nominated for this prestigious award by the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Bellemare playing with a heavy heart after his mother’s passing

TAMPA BAY, FL – When a young Pierre-Edouard Bellemare started playing ice hockey, he didn’t have a bag filled with brand new equipment. He wasn’t shooting pucks with the latest, state of the art stick. For much of his childhood, he grew up playing the game with a third-string pair of skates that were so small his feet would curl up inside the boots.

But without those skates, Bellemare probably wouldn’t be playing in the NHL. And without the relentless hard work and dedication from his single mother, Frederique, he probably never would have had those skates to begin with.

“My mom’s involvement was huge,” said Bellemare. “We started playing hockey right around the time my father decided he wasn’t going to show up anymore. Once we decided to start skating, it became really clear that, because of our financial situation, we didn’t have the money for it. But my mom always found solutions.”

Bellemare started playing hockey when he was six and a half years old, along with his brother Geoffroy-Alexis, who was 10 at the time. Their mother did whatever was necessary to allow her two sons to play hockey, even while raising three daughters as well. But it wasn’t about the money for Frederique. She just wanted her boys to obey one life lesson both on and off the ice – always give 110%.

Lightning’s Pierre-Edouard Bellemare drives fourth-line heroics

TAMPA BAY, FL – Pierre-Edouard Bellemare didn’t want to give himself too much credit following the Lightning’s 4-1 win over the Kraken Monday afternoon in Seattle.

Locked in a tight-checking game with not many scoring opportunities, Tampa Bay’s top offensive threats were quiet and the Lightning needed a jolt from their bottom two lines.

Bellemare doesn’t score much. His job is to center a fourth line focused on playing a heavy game and possessing the puck, winning faceoffs and being an anchor on the penalty kill.

But in a game like Monday’s, where Tampa Bay had to find its offensive game from somewhere other than its top-six forwards, Bellemare made sure he was in the right place at the right time.

In a first period that saw the Lightning make 25 shot attempts (15 on goal), they were sustaining zone time and pressuring the net. But it wasn’t until Bellemare deflected an Ian Cole shot past goaltender Philipp Grubauer with 1:17 left in the period that the Lightning were rewarded with a goal, the game’s only tally in the first two periods.

“It’s depth,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. “And that’s the difference with some teams. When you have some depth, it helps you win some hockey games, and in a game like (Monday’s), when (Nikita Kucherov) or (Steven Stamkos) or (Brayden Point) isn’t getting one, you need somebody like ‘Belly’ to get it for you, and it turns out to be a big one for us.”

Even on record-setting night, Lightning’s Pierre-Edouard Bellemare takes no game for granted

TAMPA BAY, FL – You have to look deeper to see the true impact center Pierre-Edouard Bellemare has in the Lightning locker room. An important but often overlooked contributor on good teams for close to a decade, he continues to play that role as he nears his 38th birthday.

When players first join the Lightning, Jon Cooper likes to be one of the first to call them. Typically, he finds himself doing most of the talking as the players try to feel out their new head coach. But when Cooper first spoke with Bellemare two offseasons ago, it was different.

Bellemare using NHL European Player Media Tour to grow hockey in France

PARIS, FRANCE – Pierre-Edouard Bellemare was understandably the most excited among the 19 players at the NHL European Player Media Tour in Paris on Wednesday.

Born in the Paris suburb of Le Blanc-Mesnil, the Tampa Bay Lightning forward normally returns to the City of Lights once a year with his family to visit his sister. But like everyone else, he didn’t travel much the past two offseasons because of the coronarius pandemic.

So having the NHL use Paris for the first time as the European site to promote its upcoming season was a welcome opportunity for Bellemare to come home and bring more attention to the sport he loves in his native country.

“I think it’s pretty cool. I love it,” Bellemare said. “The only downside of it is the French media is not aware. I would’ve loved to have French media so we could use it also for growing the game in France because it’s needed.”

Bellemare, who lives in Skelleftea, Sweden, in the offseason, is one of three players born in France who played in the NHL last season, along with Columbus Blue Jackets forward Alexandre Texier and Arizona Coyotes forward Antoine Roussel. He’s one of 13 born in the country to play in the NHL in its history.

With hockey rarely in the spotlight in France, the NHL is exploring ways to change that. In fact, the European Player Media Tour might be the start of the League having more of a presence here.

“Part of the reason we decided to come to Paris was in part another short summer, and we’re asking our players to make a commitment to capture media content to promote the game,” Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said. “In making that request you want to pick a location in Europe that players want to spend time in and bring guests to. Part of it is about accommodating player interests, but do we have an interest in making hockey bigger in France generally? Of course, we do.

“That starts at the grassroots level, more participation in hockey.”

It could eventually lead an NHL game in Paris.

“Obviously a very mature, wealthy economy here in Paris,” Deputy Commissioner Daly said. “It would be great to bring teams over here at some point in the future and play a game. Probably a preseason game at first, but that’s certainly on the radar screen, although maybe a longer-term radar.”

Lightning’s Pierre-Edouard Bellemare hopes to make most of return to Stanley Cup final

TAMPA BAY, FL – Pierre-Edouard Bellemare had his choice of teams when it came time to decide where he wanted to continue his career last offseason.

Coming off a second-round playoff ouster following a Presidents’ Trophy-winning season with the Avalanche, the veteran forward heard from multiple teams interested in signing him.

Driving the bus: Bolts’ unique fourth line has found instant chemistry

TAMPA BAY, FL – “I don’t know what to call our line – maybe the ‘School Bus,’ because we’re all carrying each other.”

It was forward Pat Maroon who coined the nickname for the Tampa Bay Lightning’s fourth line, a group that has remained intact for nearly the entire 2021-22 season. The trio consists of Maroon and two players who signed with Tampa Bay in free agency last summer, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Corey Perry.