The Colorado Avalanche aren’t expected to do much in terms of subtraction from their current roster. This is a team that isn’t far off from at least being a playoff contender. They stand a few role players up front and some blue line improvements away from doing just that.
A much larger question for this team lies between the pipes. Since he was acquired a couple of years ago, Semyon Varlamov has yet to indicate that he is the franchise netminder that the Avs had hoped they were acquiring. With a year left on his deal, his days in Colorado could be numbered.
There’s no doubt that if the Avalanche choose not to add another goaltender to the mix, the 2013-14 season will be a make-or-break season for Varlamov. He’s shown flashes of being the goaltender that the Avs had hoped, but overall has been a disappointment, particularly in 2013.
The 2013 season saw Varlamov post a goals against average over three, while managing a save percentage of just .903. He was much better in his first year with the Avs, finishing the 2011-12 season with a 2.59 GAA and a .913 save percentage. Neither season warrants the trade or the contract he received.
There has been some talk about the Avalanche possibly acquiring Ryan Miller, perhaps in a deal for the no. 1 overall pick. The fact that we’ve heard rumors like that gives somewhat of an indication that the Avalanche would be open to replacing Varlamov if the opportunity presented itself.
In the end, unless the Avalanche acquire a goaltender this summer in a trade, given the lack of depth out on the free agent market, it looks like Varlamov could have the opportunity to play out his contract and get one more year to prove himself. But there isn’t patience in this organization anymore. The front office wants to win now. If an opportunity presents itself this summer, they probably wouldn’t hesitate to move him out.