Avalanche use offseason to bolster depth in hopes of a deeper playoff run


Quintin Soloviev

Cale Makar playing with the Avalanche vs Islanders on January 6, 2020. Colorado Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic on Cale Makar and how he will improve. “He’s already one of the best players in the game in the defensive position. But he’s so young, and he’s only going to get stronger.”

Gryffin Mauss, Ranger Review Reporter

After a heartbreaking defeat for the Colorado Avalanche in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs at the hands of the Vegas Golden Knights the Avalanche went into last off season hoping to keep their star players and bolster their depth in hopes of making a run to win the Stanley Cup. 

The Avalanche needed to re-sign some major key players to their team while dealing with an already very full salary cap. The players they needed to re-sign included star player Cale Makar, Captain Gabriel Landeskog, starting Goalie Philipp Grubauer, and key depth player Brandon Saad. As per ESPN.com they signed Cale Makar to a six year contract and captain Gabriel Landeskog was re-signed to an eight year deal. They were not able to re-sign starting goalie Philipp Grubauer or Brandon Saad.

The loss of Grubauer put the avalanche without a starting goalie so the very same day Grubauer signed with Seattle the Avalanche traded a prospect Connor Timmins a first round pick in 2022 and a conditional 3rd round draft pick in 2024 for Arizona Goalie Darcy Kuemper in hopes that he can help the Avalanche win the Stanley Cup. 

Kuemper’s Goals against Average (GAA) and Save Percentage have been comparable to Grubauer. As per NHL.com Kuemper in 2020 put up a 2.56 GAA and a .907 save percentage while Grubauer put up 1.95 GAA and a .922 save percentage in 2020. While Grubauer’s stats are better he was playing on a top ten team in the league and Kuemper’s stats are still comparable while he was on a bottom ten team in the league so taking this into account Kuemper is a better goalie than Grubauer and all around a upgrade in net for the Avalanche. 

As per cbssports.com they signed Darren Helm to help balance out the bottom six forwards. They also extended Tyson Jost’s contract by two years and Logan O’Connor’s by three years. On the defensive side they signed both Ryan Murray and Jack Johnson to one year contracts.  

The Avalanche were looking good going into preseason with a really good goaltender in Kuemper and a solid backup goalie in Pavel Francouz. However, on October 5th against the Vegas Golden Knights backup goalie Francouz got injured and was unable to finish the game in the preseason. This put the Avalanche’s goalie depth into question because their third goalie, Jonas Johansson, was solid for the Avalanche in the previous season, but it was very clear that he was not NHL ready. As per NHL.com he posted a  GAA of 2.06 and a save percentage of .913 in eight games 

The end goal for the Avalanche remains the same as it was last year to win the Stanley Cup. If they do win they will bring the first major sports championship to Colorado since 2016 and the first Stanley Cup since 2000.