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“Butch” La Roue: Ahead By A Century

Whalers owner Ronnie Paterson (left) presents alternate captain Francis "Butch" La Roue (22) with a knapsack to commemorate the defenceman's 100 games with the White Rock franchise.

In his fourth and final year, Whaler blueliner marks 100 games

CENTENNIAL ARENA – Since the Whalers joined the Pacific Junior ‘B’ Hockey League (PJHL) in 2018, Francis “Butch” La Roue has been a defensive stalwart for the franchise. A vocal leader, La Roue, 20, played in his 100th PJHL game – all with the Pod – Oct.16.

Before he laced up to attain the milestone, La Roue spoke with Alistair Burns, the team’s Community Relations Coordinator, for a question-and-answer session.

And the blueliner answered the one question that Burns has received the most from fans and media alike – how did Butch obtain his nickname?

Alistair Burns: Butch, when you first came into the league as a 16-year-old, could you ever have imagined playing a century of games with one team?

“Butch” La Roue: I kind of hoped to stay with the Whalers throughout my PJHL career, so I couldn’t be happier to suit up for 100 with this team.

Burns: On a more personal note, you grew up, in a sense, in Centennial Arena. This is your hometown rink – especially as your dad was also a defenceman. Could you tell me your favourite memory so far in Centennial?

La Roue: Other than the Whalers, it’s got to be growing up with some of my best friends who are still around now. Growing up in minor hockey, Centennial has a special place in my heart. Playing for the Whalers is something that I’ll look back on when I’m older, and definitely think of this rink.

White Rock alternate captain Francis "Butch" La Roue (right) stands with Whalers captain Tyler Price (middle) and alternate captain Matt Burry (left) Oct. 9. | Photo courtesy of Alistair Burns, White Rock Whalers

Burns: One of the common questions I get, from fans and media: is “Butch” his actual name? Of course not, Francis is your real name. How did you get that nickname?

La Roue: Well, I was lucky enough to get that name from my father’s dad – also named Francis La Roue – who was in Vietnam, fought in Vietnam, and played football for the Toronto Argonauts (1963-65). So, my dad named me after his dad. Hopefully, I can do some great things with that name.

Burns: On the player questionnaire, you gave the best answer ever for life after hockey. And I quote: “a Formula 1 driver, a private airline pilot for celebrities, and a professional golfer.” I’m surprised you didn’t pick an astronaut or something a little tougher. But, what’s the plan after hockey?

La Roue: Don’t really have a set plan right now, but I plan on going to school. After my junior career, I’ll focus on that. Hopefully, instead of being a pilot for someone famous, I wouldn’t mind being famous myself.

Burns: Butch, thank you again, and congratulations on 100 games.