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Colorado Avalanche

Philipp Grubauer leaves Avalanche for Seattle Kraken



Philipp Grubauer

It just didn’t work out. Despite many hours where both sides presented proposals and counterproposals and talked right up until the last minute, the Colorado Avalanche and Philipp Grubauer just couldn’t work out a new contract. About two hours after hitting the open market as an unrestricted free agent, Grubauer signed a six-year contract with the expansion Seattle Kraken for $35.4 million, an AAV of $5.9 million.

The Avalanche thus have no No. 1-caliber goaltender at the moment, unless you count Pavel Francouz, who didn’t play at all this past season because of injury. The Avs are expected to turn their attention to the free-agent or trade market, but the pickings are slim. Several goalies who might have been available as free agents (Braden Holtby, Frederik Andersen, Martin Jones) were quickly signed to other teams.

There might be a good goalie available – Arizona’s Darcy Kuemper – but to get him the Avs would have to part with what likely would be at least a quality player or prospect or both to get. Another goalie who is a possibility is Linus Ullmark, a UFA who has played with the Buffalo Sabres. But it’s known that the Sabres are trying hard to keep him.

It’s believed that the biggest roadblock to a deal with Grubauer was that sixth year. There wasn’t as big a difference on the AAV, but that sixth year was something the sides couldn’t bridge. The Kraken quickly jumped in and offered such a deal.

The Avs are losing a goalie who was a finalist for the Vezina Trophy, who led Colorado to first-round playoff victories his final three seasons with the club. Grubauer couldn’t get the team past the second round, however, in two tries (he was injured and played only one period in one second-round series, 2020 against Dallas).

Superstreak Bonus!

His final three games with the Avs were clunkers, the final one being a 6-3 loss in Vegas in a series he and the Avs had a 2-0 series lead at one point.

Philipp Grubauer had an excellent regular season, with a 30-9-1 record and a 1.95 goals-against average and .922 saves percentage.

According to PuckPedia, the Avs currently have about $9.2 million in cap space.

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Adrian Dater - Kiss and Larry Bird fan. Writer with @Gambling and @Bookies, Avs Insider with 104.3 The Fan. Denver Post, SI, Bleacher Report alum, author of seven books.

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We all saw that coming, no? Goalie contracts are difficult because few of them perform consistently over many years and/or can be upstaged by back-ups overnight. So long term deals on the goalie position seem like a gamble. Vice-versa, for Grubauer it makes sense to get the most now. Chances are he won’t be in Seattle for those 6 years. It sucks to lose him, but that’s life in the flat cap era.


Nice move by the Kraken but it comes with a lot of risk. Grubauer is injury prone and I don’t fault Sakic for this one. I’m not sure what “Plan G” is for the Avs. Goaltender by committee or someone to hold the fort until a rookie or pipeline prospect steps up? Dumpster dive and hope that it works out? Oh Frankie, oh Frankie – – where art thou? Miserable Miska comeback? The one “o” Jonas Buffalo acquisition? YIKES!!!

Jared Moss

I think were all thinking the same thing….. hoping selfish grub stinks it up in Seattle so we can have the last laugh. Still baffled how you go from a top tier team to a team of rookies…. guess we will see if we or him regrets it first… joe has been too quiet today he has to add something or two otherwise it’s the same team actually worse losing graves and donskoi going into next season.. just dont see us winning


Why is it that any time the team makes a hard decision it gets explained away as well that’s just the business side of hockey. But when players do they’re selfish? Hope he goes and plays well, considering he’s a huge reason the Avs made it as far as they did this past season. The team is now worse than it was last season. And they’re either banking that the defense can prop up someone who is a downgrade in net. Or they’ll have to decide what assets they can stand to part with to trade for someone at least… Read more »

Windsor Guy

It’s all about the almighty dollar!


Not surprised that he left. Long term deals are risky. Joe has to put together some plan B-G’s. Every deal that Sakic does is fraught with risk as finding a good goalie is voodoo. His next goalie deal could make or break the Avs cup dreams.


Why not trade him? Why let him just walk??? What does Joe know????? Why did Joe waste protecting him????????


Protecting him made no difference. Frankie was exempt because of injury, leaving JoJo as the only other goalie they could have protected

Mike Fisk

Not too surprised Grub has left. But the list of available goalies is now pretty short, and nothing out there that is terribly exciting. Hopefully Joe has something up his sleeve or else the “Cup Window” the Av’s were in, may be closed. Sorry to see Bellemare leave to.


Are we gonna end with Dub as part of a tandem with Franky? If so, I hope our blueline is up to the task.


Sucks that this happened after most of the other UFA goalies were already taken – who’s left Ullmark in Buffalo???


Man. It’s too bad we didn’t expose him. Then we wouldn’t have lost Donskoi.


They could protect 7 forwards, 3 D, and 1 goalie…Grubs was the only goalie they had to protect. Wish it could have worked that way.


Thanks Grub for your time here but good luck in Seattle. Full credit to him but he had a pretty good team in front of him that kept the shot totals down which didn’t hurt his numbers. I never really liked the idea of investing long term and at a high AAV for any goalie. Correct me if I am wrong but I can’t recall any longer goalie contract really working out for the team that signed him. 3-4 year term is what I am comfortable with for any goalie at this point. Full disclosure, I grew up playing the… Read more »


Ok so Ullmark’s been picked up by the Bruins. Mrazek would have been great but he signed a 3-year deal with Toronto. Could Kuemper really sign with the Avs? This goalie situation is serious…

On the other hand, I would love if Francouz is healthy and has a beast season. I really like his style. No clue what his status is though.

Last edited 1 year ago by djs
Richard Trujillo

Avs traded for Kuemper. Save by Sakic?

Last edited 1 year ago by Richard Trujillo

Would be curious to know if they were in on the Fleury talks, or if he would have even played for the Avs if they were the ones to trade for him.

Richard Trujillo

I am sure there was a conversation. Whether it progressed into a more serious discussion or not I would also be curious to know. The real prize they missed out on was Driedger. They should have nabbed him when they moved on from Varlamov and they would have been set for a long time between the pipes. I can live with Kuemper though. At worst they got a sidegrade from Grubauer. At best they have a guy who will play way above his level in a contract year (like Grubauer just did) who can keep their championship window open for… Read more »


Ok, so it’s gonna be kuemper this year. Hope he’s good to go and the injury curse doesn’t haunt the Avs again this season. $4.5 mil cap hit. Had to give up Timmins :/


V. Vanacek traded back to Washington for a 2nd round pick. Lol. After they got Gruby they didn’t need VV any longer because they got Driedger from Florida. They were stacked with goalies.


Our defense made gru a vezina finalist. I am sure can do the same with the next goalie up. The truth really shone through in the last three games of the playoffs.

[…] fact the Avs didn’t or couldn’t sign Grubauer is disappointing, and them losing valuable assets to replace him is far from ideal. Kuemper is a […]


I wonder what Grubauer thinks now roughly 1 year later and the Avs are in the Cup finals. I really can’t believe he thought he could elevate the Kraken to be a playoff / Cup team ala Vegas. I mean, that’s the only reason I can imagine he would have done this idiot move.

Either way, I would LOVE to hear him interviewed about his decision now. What an idiot he was to leave the Avs at that point in time.

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