The Colorado Avalanche got a huge piece of business done this week when they signed star forward Mikko Rantanen to a brand new National Hockey League contract. It was unquestionably the most important move of the offseason for the Avalanche organization but it sounds like it will not be the last one that they make.
In fact just this past Friday the Avalanche pulled off a trade with the San Jose Sharks that saw the Avs acquire goaltender Antoine Bibeau from the Sharks in exchange for defenseman Nicolas Meloche. The trade was a sign that the Avalanche were attempting to improve the quality of their depth in goal, and there are now reports that the Avalanche are looking to make yet another addition to their goaltending depth prior to the start of the 2019 - 2020 NHL regular season.
Colorado Avalanche insider Adrian Dater of Colorado Hockey Now is reporting that his sources have informed him that the "Avs [are] still sniffing around for more goaltending depth." That is of course an eyebrow raising report from Dater, not least of which because it appears to indicate that the Avalanche are not comfortable moving forward with either the aforementioned Antoine Bibeau or 29 year old Pavel Francouz as their backup goaltenders. Francouz was spectacular for the Avalanche as a backup last season, he appeared in 2 games recording a 1.96 save percentage and an impressive .943 save percentage over that stretch. The issue according to Dater however is a lack of NHL experience from both men, understandable given that they have a combined 4 games played at the NHL level.
Perhaps the most interesting detail of this report however is that Dater is naming names, two of them in fact. The Avalanche insider believes that he has the inside scoop on the players that the Avalanche are targeting, and they would be Pittsburgh Penguins backup goaltender Tristan Jarry as well as Winnipeg Jets backup goaltender Eric Comrie. Jarry is the one with the most NHL experience under his belt, although even he has only appeared in 29 NHL games during his career, and for that reason I would suspect that he is the primary target of the Avalanche.
Interestingly enough there were reports earlier today of a potential trade involving Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Jack Johnson, with some rumblings suggesting that the Penguins would have to package another player to get a team to bite on his bad contract, and I wonder if the two reports might be connected.