Colorado Avalanche goaltender outlook for 2024-25 has become clearer

Over the last two days, things have happened that indicate some sort of a goaltender change for the Colorado Avalanche in 2024-25.
Colorado Avalanche v Chicago Blackhawks
Colorado Avalanche v Chicago Blackhawks / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

The Colorado Avalanche decided against going after a goaltender at the 2023-24 NHL trade deadline recently, sticking with Alexandar Georgiev and Justus Annunen. The move to keep Annunen up from the Eagles for a good while caught me off guard. I thought that Ivan Prosvetov was going to remain the backup to Georgiev going forward. Boy, was I wrong.

In fact, I was so wrong that the Avalanche have now decided to keep Annunen around for a little while longer. The 24-year old Annunen has come to an agreement with the Avalanche on a two-year extension. As of right now, this will keep Annunen around through the 2025-26 season.

Here's what Chris MacFarland had to say about Annunen and his extension:

""Justus is a hard-working young goaltender who has earned this opportunity to compete at the NHL level," Avalanche general manager Chris MacFarland said. "He has continued to improve and develop his game in the [American Hockey League] and has played well in his appearances with the Avalanche. We are excited to have him under contract for the next two seasons.”"

Avalanche GM Chris MacFarland

Unfortunately, with this news comes the news that Pavel Francouz, who helped the Colorado Avalanche during their Stanley Cup run, appears to be retired. In a recent interview, MacFarland said that he thinks Francouz is enjoying retirement, although MacFarland said he uses that term loosely. Even still, Francouz was going to become a free agent at the end of this season anyway.

The Avalanche had to do something. Francouz's long-term future has been in question but we knew that he was not going to return at all this year. The worst news possible for him appears to have occurred and the team has to move on.

I think that it is entirely possible that Annunen will get even more starts going forward throughout his extended contract. He has been very impressive in eight starts this year, going 5-2 (he did get pulled for Georgiev at one point. That's why that math doesn't add up).

Lastly, I want to say thank you to Pavel Francouz. Francouz was a huge part of this team and Avalanche fans are eternally grateful for his contributions.