There’s been no shortage of rumors swirling around the 7-9-1 Colorado Avalanche, who currently sit at the bottom of the Central Division and six points out of the last wild card spot in the Western Conference.
Last week was dominated by rumors that the team is taking calls on forward Matt Duchene, with Bob McKenzie saying, “I don’t think the coach is a big fan of him.”
Then Elliotte Friedman said on Saturday’s “Headlines” segment on Sportsnet that Tyson Barrie’s name is out there as a player that is being talked about around the league as a player that is impressing other GMs. It doesn’t sound like anything is imminent, but his name, at a minimum, doesn’t appear to be a non-starter.
Now, TSN’s Frank Seravalli is saying that starting goaltender Semyon Varlamov is a player that the team is “believed to be fielding offers on.” Varlamov is currently on injured reserve, but has not performed well so far this season, posting an .890 save percentage through 10 games.
Among goaltenders who have played at least four games, Varlamov’s .893 even strength save percentage is the third worst in the NHL, besting only Cam Talbot and Jonas Hiller.
Meanwhile, back-up netminder Reto Berra — the one coach Patrick Roy said is “not hungry” in a press conference last season — has the best even strength save percentage in the NHL at .973 through eight games. He has three career shutouts, all of which have come in a six-game stretch leading into this season.
With Berra on fire — leading the NHL in all situation save percentage and goals against average — and the team very positive about 23-year-old goaltender Calvin Pickard, who posted a .932 save percentage in 16 games last season, there’s no reason not to take offers on Varlamov. Including this season, Varlamov has four years left on a deal that carries a $5.9 million AAV.
Advanced stats via War on Ice.
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.