- Greg Wyshynski is ESPN’s senior NHL writer.
The Colorado Avalanche acquired goalie Alexandar Georgiev from the New York Rangers for three NHL draft picks, as the Stanley Cup champions reshuffle their goaltending for next season.
The Rangers added the Avalanche’s 2022 third-round (97th overall) and fifth-round (161st) picks, as well as a third-round pick in the 2023 NHL draft.
Georgiev, 26, had a save percentage of .898 and a 2.92 goals-against average in 33 games last season for the Rangers. He has played five years in the NHL, all with New York, and has a career .908 save percentage and 2.94 GAA. Georgiev had been dangled as available in previous seasons as Igor Shesterkin has emerged as the Rangers’ franchise goalie.
He is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights.
The trade likely signals the end of Stanley Cup-winning goalie Darcy Kuemper’s brief time with the Avalanche. Acquired last summer in a trade with the Arizona Coyotes after goalie Philipp Grubauer left for the Seattle Kraken, Kuemper went 37-12-4 last season and backstopped the Avalanche to their Stanley Cup victory.
Kuemper is an unrestricted free agent and is expected to receive significant contract offers in a free-agent landscape thin on veteran goalies. The move for Georgiev gives the Avalanche a low-cost goalie tandem with Pavel Francouz, who makes $2 million against the salary cap. Letting Kuemper walk also gives Colorado added salary-cap flexibility as they have only 15 players under contract for next season.
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