Welcome to “get to know your Avs”! This feature will take a look at current Avalanche players (and maybe some staff, too) to give you an idea as to just who these guys are and what they mean to the Avalanche.
Yes, some (or most) of you will already know these guys but don’t be party poopers; nobody likes party poopers.
Today, we look at the current backup netminder; former #1 man inAnaheimand (briefly)Toronto, the man who likes to get “Giggy”: Jean-Sebastien Giguere.
Who: J.S. Giguere
Nicknames: Giggy/Jiggy, Jigger, Giggles (apparently)
How He Came to Denver: Signed as a free agent July 2011.
What he’s done: At age 36, Giguere has seen his fair share of time all across the league with varying degrees of success.
Drafted by (then)Hartford, he was traded toCalgarywhere he spent parts of four seasons before getting his real break inAnaheim. After backing up Guy Hebert, Giggy finally got the starting role in 2001/02 and helped lead the Ducks to the Stanley Cup Finals as a seventh seed in the 2003 playoffs, winning the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP despite being on the losing side. It helps that he had five shutouts and a ridiculous 1.62 GAA/.945 save %.
He would continue as a solid starter over the next few years and, during the 2007 playoffs, helped lead the Ducks back to the Finals. This time, the Ducks went on to defeat the Ottawa Senators in five games, winning their first Stanley Cup. He would have a few more season inAnaheimbefore young upstart Jonas Hiller would usurp him, leading to his January 2010 trade toToronto.
After an uneventful year inToronto, he came toColoradoas the backup to the youngerSemyon Varlamov,Colorado’s present and future in between the pipes. He’s been a serviceable backup for the Avs when Varlamov has struggled and will be in the same role for this upcoming season.
What he means to the team currently: He plays a dual role as backup to Varlamov right now. First, he’s a calming presence should Varlamov struggle or get hurt. The Avalanche know they can get some solid stretches out of the veteran if they need it and Giguere has had enough success in the past that he can step in when needed.
More importantly, he’s the guiding veteran force for Varlamov to follow. As the younger netminder continues to grow into what the Avs hope will be a franchise netminder, Giguere will be there to instruct him, help him, and give him advice as to what he needs to do to get there. After all, Giguere was a franchise goalie once upon a time.
He’ll also be a locker room leader in general as the team is very young and could use all the veteran presence they can muster.
What to expect: Giguere isn’t here to carry the load anymore and no one expects him to. He’ll spell Varlamov to the tune of 30-35 games, hoping to go a little better than .500 especially with such a young, inexperienced defense in front of him.
He’ll continue to do the things we all don’t see by trying to lead the younger group, help Varlamov become what the Avs need him to be, and picking up wins here and there.
Giggy doesn’t need to be much to the Avs but he could end up being an important factor.
Follow me on Twitter: @RWTFC