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Avalanche Better Be Right On Alexandar Georgiev

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Alexandar Georgiev mask

So much for those reports that said there was a good chance Darcy Kuemper would be back. So far in my Colorado Avalanche free-agent predictions, I’m 2-for-2, with Kuemper leaving and Andrew Cogliano staying. I don’t think too many foresaw the acquisition of Alexandar Georgiev from the New York Rangers, however.

The Avalanche better be right on this guy. He is now projected as the Avalanche’s No. 1 goalie, but he hasn’t proven much of anything in the NHL yet. He’s had a couple of decent seasons for the Rangers, but he’s often been a backup in his career, too. When you read about his time with the Rangers, there were a lot of ups and downs, and it didn’t seem like he got on with management too well at times, over a lack of playing time.

Well, he’s got his chance to be a legit No. 1 now. Is this the guy to lead the Avalanche into the next “era”, for lack of a better word? His save percentage this past season was an unattractive looking .898. It’s .909 for his career, though, and there’s no doubt he’ll be playing in front of a better defense than he had in New York.

My sources indicate that Marc-Andre Fleury would have liked to have come to the Avalanche, that he was hopeful. But he quickly signed a two-year, $7 million deal to stay with the Minnesota Wild, after the Georgiev deal.

Superstreak Bonus!

This deal has similar aspects to the Semyon Varlamov deal about 11 years ago. The Avalanche get a young Russian goalie (though he was born in Bulgaria) who couldn’t quite break out with the team that drafted him, and on he comes to Colorado to be the new, top guy. The Avalanche got a couple of great years out of Varlamov, but overall his time here was a tad disappointing. He never won a playoff round as a starter here. Georgiev even has Varly’s old number (40).

Now, Georgiev is the new No. 1 on a defending Stanley Cup team. No pressure. But when you hear more about the 26-year-old, 6-foot-1, 179-pound netminder, it seems that he welcomes the pressure, that he wants the pressure. He is expected to sign a new contract with the Avs in the coming days. I would bet something like a three-year, $9 million deal. He went 8-1-0 in his last nine starts for the Rangers. Clearly, he’s got potential. Why he was never drafted by an NHL team remains something of a mystery, though. Were all the scouts wrong on him?

We’ll find out more when the puck drops Oct. 12 against the Chicago Blackhawks.

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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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Zach Heiman

I sure hope this works out…free agent MAF at $7M for two years is a lot less risky and something I was hoping the Avs would be able to pull off. The upside on Georgiev is intriguing though

Gary Battman

Le Flower has wilted. He is old. And has not done much in the last five years. Glad we did not sign him. Sakic knows what he is doing and hopefully the team embellishes defensive hockey to shut down opponents and capitalize on chances.

Steve adams

What is it you expected him to do? Look at who he’s played for since leaving Pittsburgh majorily! The only good team he’s been with was Vegas and it’s not his fault they didnt win!

Hannah Dauven

The 2021 Vezina winner hasn’t done much in the last five years?

Pauol

Very uneasy about this. Georgie has played two postseason games. Total. He was up and down in New York, and the expectations and pressure could be even greater here. Not only that, but two No. 3s and a No. 5 was a high price to pay for him. In Kuemper, we knew what we had — a guy who was good enough to beat the alleged modern GOAT four times our of six and hoist the Cup. And he did it despite some freakish injuries. Maybe Georgie boy will surprise us. He had better.

Last edited 5 months ago by Pauol
dk

For the love of Pete, you go on about the Kuemper v Vasilevsky matchup like it was a duel at high noon at the OK Corral or something.

Vasilevsky was NOT beaten by Kuemper. He, and his team, were beaten by the Colorado Avalanche. Kuemper did nothing on his own.

Paul

The Greatest Goalie In The History Of History.was supposed to be the biggest difference in the series, remember? That was the main reason that the Lightning were the consensus favorites. Never happened. Kuemper was the biggest reason that his team won Game 4, which was the turning point of the series. He shut out the defending two-time champs over the final 42:20 on the road. Then he set up the game-winner in OT. #JustTheFacts

Steve adams

He didn’t beat vasilevski the Avalanche and the refs did! Got handed game 4 winning a goal that should have been waived off!

djs

Dumb. Maybe the washed-up lightning offense should’ve produced a few more chances. They got their a$$es dominated.

Last edited 4 months ago by djs
Megamind 2022

Seriously, still on that? I thought Tampa players had class. Their whiney fans and coach, not so much. 4-2 Avs, baby. Suck it.

Last edited 4 months ago by Megamind 2022
Doug

Will Avs be only team with top 2 goalies undrafted?

Chris Strawn

you are correct AD; hopefully this guy steps up to the plate. I love how all of the Kemps haters that puffed their chests during the playoffs about him being hockey’s equivalent to Brad Johnson or Trent Dilfer are now griping that we should have kept him.

Gary Battman

Kuemper was a sieve. Down low he is awful. And last pairing defense beat him with long wristers and slappers. Kuemper could have been more realistic. Some fool will over pay and regret it, no doubt.

Richard Trujillo

I am not sure I have heard anyone upset about Kuemper walking. Outside of the fans who only showed up for the last two weeks of the season anyway…those people are upset about losing him.

Rich

I believe this was a great low risk – high reward move by Sakic. Georgiev has all of the physical abilities and attributes to a #1 goalie he just needed the right role which he will get with the Avs.

Charlie Anderson

He’s small though, for a goalie. Kinda like Frankie :/

Taylor

Juuse Saros is 5-11, 180lbs and a Vezina finalist. I get that everyone wants a massive goalie these days but you don’t have to be huge to be successful at the position.

Bob Neal

Has it been confirmed that Darcy wanted $6/6 yr? MAF was only $3.5 mil for 2 years? Ouch! Joe knows who he is dealing when working with Drury and probably went for the sure deal. There are not many goalie options this year. This means they really need Manson back or someone similar.

Gary Battman

Fantastic DKuemper is not coming back. Too bad Rantanen’s albatros contract is in the way to some degree. Lesson learned on Rantanen. When his RFA year approaches, trade the bum for some high picks. And sign a few skilled depth players.

MIAkko was called out by ABC/ESPN and the Avs coaches. How such a large man plays like a small man is baffling.

Richard Trujillo

Rantanen is a really good player. A top guy on a lot of teams. He isn’t an impact player that commands 9 million a year though. He reminds me a lot of Milan Hejduk who was really a creation of Peter Forsberg but never good enough to be a top guy like a Mackinnon, Forsberg, Sakic, or Makar.

Yan Girard

Rantanen is probably among the top 5 wingers in the NHL. He has a good size, good speed, good vision, he excels in puck protection, is able to make plays in addition to being able to score goals on a regular basis. He is a real threat to the power play with his one timer. He can even play at the center position when required. In short, he is a complete forward as we rarely see in the NHL.

dk

Oh Noez! We done gotted another average goaltender! What to do???

Wait…didn’t we just win a Stanley Cup with lackluster goaltending? There, that’s what we’ll do.

Steve adams

Also handed game 4 win on obvious missed call!

Matthew Liden

ridiculous

Last edited 4 months ago by Matthew Liden
Megamind 2022

Haha, Tampa lost you whining loser.

Brett Rainboth

Unproven goalie, Unproven goalie, Unproven goalie. It’s all anyone seems to talk about… who are the proven goalies? Lost in 5 games Fleury and Jonathan “hasn’t won a playoff series in 7 years” Quick? Is Kuemper proven now even though his numbers were not particularly good in the playoffs? Goalies are the biggest mystery in all sports but I just don’t see why the angle is always “this guy/that guys unproven” when there’s no such thing as a sure thing

Last edited 5 months ago by Brett Rainboth
dk

Indeed. The Avalanche have proven they can win with mediocre goaltending.

Yan Girard

Once is not custom. The Tampa Bay Lightning were one shot away from bringing Game 6 into overtime and possibly forcing a game 7. Then, we know that everything can happen in a game 7. Everything was hanging by a thread. A lot can happen in hockey in a very short time. So we should not minimize the importance of having a good goalkeeper. I challenge you to find only one team that has won the Stanley Cup in the 30 years with performances as poor as Kuemper. Good luck!

Wayne Dunlap

If you use that line of thinking, then the Avs were just one shot away from ending the series in game 5. That COULD’VE happened too. But it didn’t…so that kind of speculation is unhelpful. In the end, the Avs proved that with top notch D you can win without Superman in goal. The fact is they beat Superman, who’s maybe not so super when the opponent isn’t Montreal or Dallas in a bubble.

Yan Girard

Indeed, no need to have a Superman in the goals. On the other hand, it is necessary at least that the goalkeeper does his job. I don’t consider Kuemper to have done his job since half of the goals in the Stanley Cup Final were bad goals. Just because the Avalanche managed to win with poor performances from their goalie this year doesn’t mean the Avalanche will still manage to win with poor performances from their goalie in the coming years. Personally, I don’t remember seeing a team win the Stanley Cup with such performances from its goalies. And it’s… Read more »

Steve adams

The avs got handed game 4 by the refs on a clear missed call! That said Tampa won game 5 and could have gone into game 6 up 3 games to 2! Not definite they would have won game 4, but it was certainly taken from them on a clear non call! And I’m not a Tampa fan!

Bob Neal

Give it up. Tampa fans complaining are sounding awfully similar to Saint Louis fans constantly complaining. Why do you even go on this site? Nobody’s ever going to agree with you.

Megamind 2022

Hey skippy, if Tampa was better they would have won all the games. Besides that, they we’re getting curb stomped in OT of game 4. It was only a matter of time before they lost anyway. If they couldn’t stop the Avs 7 on 6, they had no shot.

dk

Done. 2010 Blackhawks with Antti Niemi.

Yan Girard

It is true that Antti Niemi has not been a great goaltender in the NHL. On the other hand, Niemi had a very good series in 2010. There is no comparison to be made with Kuemper’s performance unfortunately. Sorry to tell you that you will have to look again!

Megamind 2022

Well. How about Colorado. That’s one.

Steve adams

Anyone can win with mediocre goaltending and a game 4 win handed to you by the refs!

Steve adams

Um, been watching hockey since 72 and there sure as hell is!

JD16

As much as I’d like to have MAF, I like this deal more. I prefer the potential of having a long term goalie. Not a guys that the Avs will for sure need to replace.
this is Salic looking at not only now, but the future as well.

Steve adams

Really? Like he was so savvy getting Toews from a cap strapped isles as well🙄

djs

Joe was the first gm to act in the goalie market during the draft before MN, Detroit and NJ. He and his team obviously started thinking about this months ago and have done their research. I’m excited to see how Georgiev works out but already have a lot of faith due to how fast Joe moved on this.

Steve adams

How fast? You do know how many goalies have moved this off season don’t you!?

Steve adams

When the avs lost their star goalie to Seattle and replaced him with KUEMPER, I thought it was over for them! Not a well kept secret, if you have a better than average team you don’t need a great goalie to win!

JT

Rangers fan here. If we didn’t have the best goalie in the NHL in Shesterkin I would be happy to have AG. When he gets consistent play he does well. He is by far better than DK. I cringed for the AVs whenever the puck got in their zone.

This guy had had to back up two of the best goalies in recent yrs and Benoit is the best goalie trainer there is. You should be thanking Sakic for making this move.

Jordan

Francouz easily should be the number one goalie, but I look forward to seeing Georgiev

dp10

I thought letting Varlamov go was a bit of a mistake to be honest. I think he deserved the Vezina in 2013/14 because frankly he was the main reason the team ended that high in the standings. But he evidently got burned out behind a defense that had Jan Hejda as probably our second best defender, i.e. our defense was bad…very, very bad! Georgiev is a good gamble in my opinion. With Francouz and our young prospect Annunen still developing, we have a pretty good trio of goalies. And this playoff run we just saw kind a proved the old… Read more »

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