NHL

Francouz sleeps through an Avalanche plane change en route to the Global Series

Francouz sleeps through an Avalanche plane change en route to the Global Series

Paul French is willing to give Rip Van Winkle a run for his money.

The Colorado Avalanche goaltender may not have slept as much as the fictional Van Winkle, who in Washington Irving’s story slept for 20 years.

No, Francouz just slept so soundly that he missed the announcement of a change of plane.

Francouz fell asleep almost as soon as he boarded the Avalanche charter flight from New York to Helsinki for the 2022 NHL Global Series.

Wearing a sleep mask and noise-canceling headphones, Francouz didn’t wake up when it was announced that he needed to change planes due to a mechanical problem.

“The guys played a really nice prank on me when I fell asleep straight away on the first plane and they all left the plane and left me there,” he said. “That was a lot of fun.”

[RELATED: More 2022 NHL Global Series Finland coverage]

Francouz’s companions quietly exited the plane, avoiding the aisle closest to where the porter was dozing, leaving him behind, sprawled in his seat.

“We let him sleep there and get off the plane and have a little joke,” the defenseman said Josh Manson said “Like I’m the last guy. Welcome to Finland!”

Finally Francouz woke up and looked around, only to find the plane deserted.

“I was very confused,” he said. “To be honest, I didn’t know if we were in Finland or what happened. So, yeah, it was a really good joke.”

When Francouz boarded the second plane, his teammates gave him a standing ovation.

After the delay, the Avalanche arrived in Helsinki on Monday to begin preparations for the Global Series, which includes games against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Tampere’s Nokia Arena on Friday (2 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN, ALT, BSOH, SN NOW) and Saturday.

The joke had no lasting effect on the goalkeeper. Francouz boarded the new plane and went back to sleep, waking up shortly before arrival.

“Like I said, I was ready to sleep the whole flight,” he said, smiling. “It worked out pretty well.”

In the end, Francouz had the last and perhaps hardest laugh at the joke.





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