By inking a one-way NHL deal with goaltender Pavel Francouz, the Colorado Avalanche have found a much-needed backup for Semyon Varlamov. The starting goalie of the team suffered a knee injury at the end of the season 2017-2018.
Does that mean that the club may not re-sign Jonathan Bernier ( $2.75 million this season) or Andrew Hammond ($1.35 million)? There is not much time left before that situation will be resolved. Both of them are eligible to an unrestricted free agency on July 1, 2018.
It is worth mentioning that in 2015, Francouz injured his ankle. He had to be stretchered off during a match against Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod in the KHL. The Czech goalie was troubled by the injury throughout the rest of the 2015-16 season. Nevertheless, in the following seasons and playoffs, Francouz showed an excellent physical form and even participated at the KHL All-Star Game in 2016-17.
From that viewpoint, should Colorado Avalanche decide to keep one of the above mentioned unrestricted free agents, there shouldn’t be a problem to reassign the newly acquired goalie to the American Hockey League, as he is a first-year waiver-exempt professional in the NHL.
Great KHL Record
Before the signing with Avs, Francouz played for Traktor Chelyabinsk of the Kontinental Hockey League in Russia. Records show he has been one of the most consistently strong goaltenders in the KHL for the last three seasons. This year, Francouz went 15-11-5 with a 1.80 goals-against average, having five shutouts under his belt.
This month, Pavel Francouz will represent the Czech Republic at the 2018 IIHF World Championship in Denmark. That will be his fifth annual tournament.
Earlier this year, the 6-foot-1, 179-pound goaltender represented the Czech Republic at the Pyeong Chang Olympics finishing 2-2 with a 2.27 goals-against average and a .905 save percentage.
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