This season just keeps getting worse and worse for the Colorado Avalanche and their fans as starting goaltender Semyon Varlamov is out for the season with a hip injury. Varlamov is undergoing surgery to get rid of groin muscle issues that have made him unavailable to the Avalanche for portions of recent seasons that he has been there. Last week was when another flareup of the injury took place and, at first, he was going to be shutdown through the All-Star break until it was announced earlier today that he would miss the rest of the season.
This injury will definitely raise questions as to whether or not Varlamov ever plays again for the Avalanche as he has missed time each season with this injury. He has two years left on his current contract which pays him $5.9 million per year. His stats this season were some of the worst of his career as he only has six wins and an .898 save percentage. He’s never had a save percentage below .900 for a season, but that will change this year. Last year his save percentage was .914 and his best year with the Avalanche came during the 2013-2014 season when they made the playoffs, as he had 41 wins and a .927 save percentage.
It’ll be interesting to see if the Avalanche trade for a goaltender at the deadline or if they just embrace the tank as backup Calvin Pickard will be getting most of the games the rest of the way. The 24-year old Pickard currently has a 7-13-1 record, 3.01 GAA, and a .906 SV% for the 2016-17 season. During his three seasons with Colorado he has compiled a 20-26-5 record with a 2.68 GAA, and a .918 save percentage.
If Pickard can figure things out and match his career numbers in net for the rest of the season he will surely lock up the top spot in between the pipes in Denver. Another thing of note with this injury is that the “debate” on whether the Avs would protect Pickard or Varlamov in this summers expansion draft is no longer a tough decision, with Pickard being the very likely candidate.