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Goalie Analysis: Colorado Avalanche could look into acquiring “King” Henrik Lundqvist

MIKE CHAMBERS | The Denver Post
Colorado Avalanche goaltender Philipp Grubauer (31) in the third period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020, in Denver. Colorado won 4-0. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Jared Bednar expects goalie Philipp Grubauer to turn it around — just like he did last season. The Avalanche coach believes his No. 1 goalie to begin the season will bounce back from a mid-season funk and re-establish himself as a strength for a playoff-bound team.

But if that doesn’t happen, and the Avs aren’t convinced backup Pavel Francouz can carry the load, they might have a trade option in acquiring future Hall of Fame goalie Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers in a short-term marriage.

Lundqvist, 37, who has yet to hoist the Stanley Cup, is under contract through 2020-21, with an $8.5 million annual cap hit but just a $5.5 million salary next season. His contract would expire when Colorado begins paying big money to Gabe Landeskog and Cale Makar, whose current deals also end next season.

Currently, the Avs have the cap space and prospects/draft picks to entice “King Henrik” to waive his no-trade clause to a Cup contender in a move similar to when legendary defenseman Ray Bourque came to the Avs late in the 1999-2000 season. In search of the Cup heading into his 40th birthday, Bourque helped Colorado win it in 2001.

Lundqvist could be that guy for the Avs in 2020 or 2021, and the Rangers are undoubtedly looking at trading one of their three goalies. That’s not a typo — New York is carrying three goalies, including two young ones in Alexandar Georgiev, 23, and Igor Shesterkin, 24 — the latter of whom defeated the Avs in his NHL debut Jan. 7 in New York.

Read more via The Denver Post.


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