The Colorado Avalanche are in a slump, and it’s partially due to insufficient goal tending. Could they be looking at a goalie trade?
I worried about this tandem going into the season. We’ve got a first-year starter being backed up by a first-year player. The tandem might get the Avs into the playoffs, but they’re unlikely to carry them far in the playoffs.
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Yes, we could always see a resurgence of Grubauer. He came into his own about February of last year and eventually won the starting job from Semyon Varlamov. And, yes, he was good in the playoffs, earning a 0.925 save percentage and 2.29 goals against average.
However, right now, not much of anyone — including the coaching staff — appears to have confidence in him as our main guy. And, while Francouz has shown flashes of brilliance, he’s not the answer.
One name that has been popping up in conjunction with the Colorado Avalanche is Carey Price. Making a blockbuster trade with the Montreal Canadiens because of Colorado’s history with them is intriguing.
Price is not having a stellar season. The 32-year-old goalie has a 0.904 save percentage and 2.95 goals against average in 37 games. That’s pretty much the same as Grubauer, who’s currently at 0.909% and 2.92 GAA.
There are a lot of problems with trading for Price, not least of which is his No Move Clause. And the price (no pun intended) he would command. However, the two main issues are his age and his salary. He’s already 32, and the Avs are still a team that want to build around youth.
Plus, Price commands a hefty $10.5 million cap hit. What’s more, he’s going to be hitting that cap for six more years after this season. (What the heck was GM Marc Bergevin thinking, signing a 30-year-old goalie to an eight-year contract with an AAV of $10.5 million?!) Colorado can’t take that hit for six years and still be competitive.
Montreal would have to retain half that salary, and that would drive the price for Price (😬) up. Can you say Bo Byram?
Recently, an Avs fan, Joey Suyeishi, floated out another option:
As you can see, fellow Avs fans resoundingly didn’t like the idea of acquiring Jonathan Quick.
Let’s kick the tires on that one if only to do due diligence.
The Kings is 33 years old. He’s played 30 games so far, recording a 0.895 save percentage and 3.02 goals against average. That’s not great. However, he’s cheaper — $5.8 million for three more seasons after this one.
Ok, naw, that doesn’t seem like a good deal either.
So, I’m driven to look at some of the other teams who definitely aren’t making the playoffs. Might they have a goalie for sale — one that would improve on the goalie tandem of Grubauer and Francouz?
The Anaheim Ducks have a goalie tandem of John Gibson (26) and Ryan Miller (39). No way the Avs would trade for a 39-year-old, but Gibson looks good at 2.96 GAA and .905 save percentage. The Ducks wouldn’t give him up, though, I’m sure.
The San Jose Sharks have Martin Jones (30) and Aaron Dell (30). Dell has been the better of the two in his 20 games — 2.77 GAA and 0.910%. However Jones, despite his 3.19 GAA and 0.890%, is the more known quantity. Would either really improve on our current tandem, though?
The New Jersey Devils have 27-year-old Louis Domingue backing up 23-year-old Mackenzie Blackwood. Domingue has gotten only eight games, recording a 3.45 GAA and 0.888%. Blackwood is plenty better, but there’s no reason to think the Devils will trade away their starter.
The Ottawa Senators… probably don’t answer Joe Sakic‘s calls anymore after getting fleeced in the Matt Duchene trade. They don’t have much to offer anyway — 29-year-old Anders Nilsson is the best of the lot with 0.908% and a 3.18 GAA. Again, I couldn’t say that would improve our current tandem.
So, where does that leave the Colorado Avalanche? I think they’re going to stand pat with their current goal tending tandem. There just wouldn’t be a reason to take a chance on either an aging star with a big contract or a mediocre player.
What do you think, Avs Nation? Do any of those goalies float your boat?