LPHF | The “beautiful moments” of Ann-Sophie Bettez

When you are the vice-dean of a league, the specter of retirement inevitably lurks.

Ann-Sophie Bettez of course feels the presence of this specter. But she’s not ready to shake his hand. Not at all, even.

The one who will celebrate her 37the birthday in November, at the start of the next season, has essentially known everything about women’s hockey in Montreal. After a successful college career at Dawson and university at McGill, this North Shore native spent seven seasons in the old Canadian League with the Montreal Stars, eventually renamed the Canadiennes. When the circuit closed shop in 2019, Bettez was second in its history in points.

She then worked her way through the Professional Players’ Association, before playing the only season in the history of the Montreal Force, in the old Premier Hockey League.

Despite her venerable age – which would only place her at 26e rank in the NHL, moreover –, the attacker does not seem satisfied.

In any case, not after just one season in the Professional Women’s Hockey League (LPHF), and even less so when she had to miss nine season games and three more in the playoffs due to injuries. Knee surgery earlier this spring ended any hope of a return.

Standing in front of the microphones and cameras, despite his crutches, Bettez left no room for any ambiguity as to his intentions last Friday, as part of the Montreal team’s end-of-season review.


Ann-Sophie Bettez, last Friday, during the end of season review of the Montreal team

“When you have had a passion for sport since you were 4 or 5 years old, you are not ready to stop,” said the striker. I spoke to several people [à la retraite], to find out how it went. They told me: “You’ll find out when it’s time.” I haven’t received this message yet. I still have energy and fitness. It is the passion that has allowed me to come this far, this passion remains. »

So there is a love of his sport, but also a little pride. “I would like to end my career in another way than with an injury,” admitted Bettez.

Evasive on the nature of her injuries that required an operation – “probably an accumulation” – she indicated that her rehabilitation was progressing well and that she wanted to be back on skates in the fall.

Here or somewhere else

Moreover, it is not only his state of health that could complicate his return to the Montreal uniform. “I want a contract!” “, she retorted, laughing, to a reporter who asked her what she was looking for next.

Bettez is in fact one of dozens of players whose agreement will expire in the coming weeks. As written The Presslast Saturday, all LPHF teams are expected to significantly change their face next season, following an expected influx of talent from American universities and European leagues.

Read ““The portrait will change” next year”

Several of the pioneers of the first season of the circuit will therefore find themselves without work. One might believe that Ann-Sophie Bettez, with 5 points in 15 games, has demonstrated that she is of the caliber to land a position in 2024-2025. Nothing, however, is certain, neither for her nor for her many colleagues who share her uncertainty.

Despite her “strong sense of belonging” to the Montreal team, the city where she has played for essentially two decades, she suggests that she could pack her bags if that is what allows her to play again.

If there is no place for me, but there are offers elsewhere, I will consider it at that time.

Ann-Sophie Bettez

We don’t feel bitter about her situation. She is happy to have experienced “historic moments” throughout the last season. “I knew a professional league was eventually going to be here for good, but I didn’t think I would benefit from it,” she noted, grateful.

“Like any new organization,” the LPHF has not been perfect. The management of reserve players would benefit from improvement, suggested Bettez, who however prefers to focus on the “beautiful moments” of recent months.

Among other examples, the first winning goal in the history of the franchise, which she herself scored in overtime in the inaugural game in Ottawa on January 2.

source site-62