3 Colorado Avalanche players who won’t be on the team next season

Colorado Avalanche v Florida Panthers
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Pavel Francouz

Pavel Francouz has been greatly appreciated during his time with the Colorado Avalanche. An undrafted free agent pickup, Francouz is mostly appreciated for his contributions in helping the Avs during the 2021-22 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

In those playoffs, starter Darcy Kuemper had to miss time due to an eye injury and Francouz held things down during his absence. The Avalanche swept the Nashville Predators during the series, with Francouz winning the last two games. Without Francouz stepping in, who knows what would have happened. The Colorado Avalanche may not have proceeded in the playoffs if Kuemper decided to try and continue playing through the eye injury.

Unfortunately, Francouz suffered a groin injury in May of 2023 and hasn’t played since. Fairly recently, it came into focus that Francouz was “doing well in retirement.” Those words from general manager Chris MacFarland. Though MacFarland said he uses the term “retirement” loosely, the fact that he even suggested it makes me think there are two options with Francouz going forward:

1.) Francouz is actually retired and will never play hockey again thanks to the injury. This idea is absolutely heartbreaking. We should all hope for ever player to be able to go out on their own terms. Getting sent out due to an injury is just a crushing blow to anyone, especially a guy who was very impactful during his time in Colorado.

2.) Even if Francouz makes a miraculous recovery from the groin injury and finds his way back onto NHL ice, it might not be for the Colorado Avalanche. Francouz’s contract runs out at the conclusion of the 2023-24 season, and with his status sort of unknown definitively, there’s no doubt in my mind that the team is going to straight up move on and not re-sign him. Sadly, that’s just part of the business side of sports.

What ever Francouz’s next path is, Colorado Avalanche fans thank him for all that he did for us.