Greater Tulsa Reporter
Tulsa Oilers forward Michel Beausoleil had no idea he was on the verge of history until moments prior to his Central Hockey League team’s game against Wichita on Nov. 18 at the BOK Center.
Known to his friends and fans as “Bo-Bo,’’ the 31-year-old from Montreal recorded three assists against the Thunder to move past 600 points in his 11-year professional career. After playing for nine teams in five leagues, Beausoleil has found a home in Tulsa, and he plans on a lengthy future with the Oilers.
“I didn’t know anything about it (600 points) until I saw it on a (score) sheet before the game,’’ says Beausoleil of reaching the milestone. “I didn’t know I was that close, but it means something to me. That’s a lot of points.
‘“I couldn’t have done it by myself. All my career I’ve been lucky to play with great players like Garrett Prosofsky in Oklahoma City and Gary Steffes, Chad Costello and Jack Combs in Tulsa. Every year one of my goals is to average a point a game and I’m close to a point a game in my career.’’
Beausoleil had seven goals and 15 assists this season through Dec. 10, tied for second in team points. Indeed, he has enjoyed a little help from his friends with four of his former Oklahoma City teammates dotting the Tulsa roster. It’s almost like old times.
“We had some good years in Oklahoma City together, but it’s different now,’’ said Beausoleil. “We’re older and have families and we have to show an example to the younger kids. It’s a different situation because we have to be leaders.’’
Two years ago Beausoleil’s situation with the Oilers was dramatically different. Coach Bruce Ramsay had too many veterans and released him. Beausoleil caught on with Muskegon in the United League before returning to Tulsa last season.
“They (the Oilers) had too many centers and they had to make a hard decision,,’’ Beausoleil says. “He (Ramsay) said he regretted letting me go, but I had a good season in Muskegon and we made the playoffs. Bruce helped me go there. I’m happy to be back here and I have something to prove. Rammer apologized to me and whatever happened is in the past.’’
Beausoleil met his wife Katie in Tulsa and she works for the Bank of Oklahoma. He plans to remain in town after hockey, earn his citizenship and become an EMT and fireman for the Broken Arrow Fire Department. Before that day comes, Beausoleil has other hockey milestones in mind.
“I’d like to reach 300 goals and I’m 20 away right now,’’ he said. “I feel good and I know I have a few years in front of me. I want to keep playing as long as I enjoy the game.
“When I started I was just a goal scorer and now I’m a more complete player. I have different skills playing on the penalty kill and power play. As you get older, you’ve got to play smarter, and I still have a lot of fire left in me.’’