The only thing they hadn’t figured out was a start date.
Otherwise, Pierre-Luc Dubois and Alexandre Texier had a “Euro-trip” planned for this summer.
The Blue Jackets teammates would have started in Copenhagen, Denmark, where Dubois played for Canada in the 2018 men’s world championship. From there, trips to visit teammates in Sweden and Finland were possible, before heading to France for the grand finale.
That would include a stop in Grenoble, Texier’s hometown in the French Alps, followed by a trip to Nice for some offseason training.
“It wasn’t official, because you never know what could’ve happened in the playoffs,” said Dubois, who is now waiting out the COVID-19 pandemic in his offseason home of Montreal. “We could’ve ended in May or June, so we didn’t have anything set, but we were probably going to go.”
If so, it wouldn’t have come as a surprise.
Drafted just a year apart, the French-speaking forwards have forged a close friendship. Dubois, 21, has shown Texier the way of life in the NHL the past calendar year, while the 20-year-old Frenchman has helped his French Canadian mentor brush up on speaking “proper” French.
“Whenever you get two guys who speak the same language, there’s kind of a bond there,” said Dubois, who first met Texier at a Blue Jackets development camp in June 2017. “Even though I speak English just as well as I speak French, sometimes it feels more like home to speak the language you grew up with.
“So, when he came over, I remember him telling me his English wasn’t great. Right away, he was always asking me questions, clinging onto me. Not in a bad way. He just didn’t want to miss anything. And from there, we established a relationship.”
The following season, Dubois got his first taste of the NHL while Texier played in the Finnish Elite League for Kuopio Kalpa. It was his first experience playing outside France and was a challenge that prepared him for the NHL.
Texier also stayed in touch with Dubois, who set Blue Jackets rookie records in 2017-18 with 20 goals and 82 games played. By the time Texier arrived in Columbus at the end of last season, Dubois was practically an NHL veteran.
He was also a familiar face, who happened to speak French.
“I understand everything (in English), but sometimes you just need to ask someone else to translate a little bit,” Texier said. “P-L was there, so he helped me a lot with English and (dealing with) people, because sometimes you don’t know what to answer. P-L helped me a lot to understand.”
David Savard, who’s from Quebec, did the same thing for Dubois, even though both were fluent in English and French. Savard mentored Dubois in a different way, inviting the fellow French Canadian to live at his house and spend his rookie season as part of the Savard family.
“We all have somebody when we come into the league who helps us and shows us around the league,” said Savard, whose own NHL mentors included former…
Read More: Pierre-Luc Dubois, Alexandre Texier share NHL journey – Sports – The Columbus 2020-06-03 10:30:00