Avalanche Sign Andrew Raycroft - Colorado Avalanche Updates, News and Game Reviews at Avs Talk

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Avalanche Sign Andrew Raycroft

Good grief. Let me go dig up that picture. You know which one I'm talking about. EDIT: Ah, there it is.

Hot on the heels of the Per Ledin announcement, the Avalanche went out and signed Andrew Raycroft to a one-year contract. I'm hoping the terms are something like -$2M. Yep, that's a negative sign there. I want Raycroft to pay the team to play for them. EDIT: TSN says it's $800,000 which makes me a bit calmer.

I'm going to think on this a bit more but at the moment, I'm supremely disappointed. When I heard the Caps signed Theodore, I thought the Avalanche might make a run at Huet. I guess they settled for 10th best.

UPDATE: Ok, I've thought a bit more. I had the oddest premonition yesterday of signing Raycroft. It was of the "Man, I hope they don't do this" variety of premonitions. Now that it's come true, I truly have to think whether it's a good idea or not. So give me a minute...ok, I'm back. No, it's not a good idea but it's not a terrible one.

Francois Giguere stated yesterday that he could be looking at bringing in a goaltender to back up Peter Budaj. Or at least I thought he did. When I went to re-read his comments I couldn't find them in the article on the Avalanche site. I'm 99% positive I read that so I'm not sure why they'd disappear. Maybe he realized what he said and what he did didn't quite jive with each other and decided to edit the article.

Either way, we knew there needed to be someone behind Budaj as nobody - except maybe DD ;) - completely trusts him with the reigns. I was willing to test the waters with Tyler Weiman even though I know absolutely nothing about how NHL-ready he is. I'm guessing he's pretty close to where Raycroft is.

UPDATE 2: Ok, let's look at Raycroft's stats and see if maybe I'm being a bit...holy crap he let's in almost 4 goals per game! He still managed one shutout in the TWO wins he got last season but he let in 63 goals on 509 shots for a whopping .876 save percentage. In the year before that as the #1 for Toronton, he garnered 37 wins (not bad) in 72 games while putting up a 2.99 GAA (bad) with a .894 save percentage.

37 wins is a lot of wins. 72 games is a lot of games. 3 goals per game is a lot of goals against per game. From what I see in the stats and what I remember of watching far too many Leafs games on CBC, the team did their best to win games while Raycroft did his best to lose them. I'd love to just look at the 37 wins by itself but you can't. 37/72 is just over .500 which we all know is not a great winning percentage in the league.

However, given that it's an $800,000 contract I can at least say they didn't overpay for his services. But it's close.

UPDATE 3: So who else could the Avs have gotten? Well, the Wings went out and stole Ty Conklin for $750,000 for the year. That would have been nice. It looks like Chicago is about to sign Huet for over $5M per year for 4 years. I'm ok not getting Huet for that price as I'm not overly sold on him. Jose Theodore got $4.5M per year over 2 years. Definitely ok letting that go.

But who's still left? As of 3:51pm ET, Stephane Valiquette, Ray Emery, Olaf Kolzig and then a slew of backup guys like Patrick Lalime and John Grahame. Out of the three I mentioned, I would have loved to see Valiquette come over at the right price. Kolzig would have been nice if he'd have been willing to assume a backup/mentor role. And Emery, he can take his attitude elsewhere.

So for me, there were a couple better options out there but not many. I think if Kolzig can't play in Washington or as a starter he's going to retire. I don't blame him one bit either. As for Valiquette, I guess it depends on what he ends up going for but color me unhappy that the Avs chose Raycroft over Valiquette.

UPDATE 4: I just realized that once again, Budaj is being paid less than his backup (based on cap number)

FINAL THOUGHTS: Well, after the initial shock wore off, I'm about 75-25 on this move. As long as Budaj plays solidly, then the Avs have a reasonable backup at a good price. In fact they probably have the cheapest goaltending tandem in the league. If Budaj falters tough, there's really nobody behind him to pick up the load. Maybe it's a subtle message from FG to Budaj that he doesn't expect there to be any faltering and Raycroft will see 15 starts and the rest will be entrusted to the lovable Boods. I'm curious how Budaj will handle the extra load. He took it all in stride 2 years ago in the infamous stretch run that ended in heartbreak. Can he do it again this season?

UPDATE 5: The Denver Post reports that Raycroft is a former teammate of Jeff Hacket. A-ha! The move makes a bit more sense now. Let's hope Hacket can work some magic and make him a serviceable backup.

Related Links
TSN Free Agent Tracker


Tapeleg said...

Why am I not getting your feed? WTF?

Why is Raycroft an Av? My world is spinning.

Shane Giroux said...

I heard Feedburner was having troubles the last couple days. I also heard Google appears to not care less.

I'm remaining as stoic as I can on the Raycroft signing but it's a very disappointing move. The tears aren't there yet but I'm sure they'll come once he puts on an Avs sweaters and starts letting in softies.

Jed said...

I am voting it is a move in the positive direction. What do I know though :)

Shane Giroux said...

Ever the optimist Jed :)

Sully said...

I had the same premoniion about Raycroft you did!!! We can only hope that Jeff Hackett can work the same magic with "Rayzor" that he did with Theo in the 2nd half last year.

This tells me that Francois and Tony are confident that Peter is going to be the man...

And if the Avs get the same inconsistent goaltending in the first half of the season this year that they got last year, we will be shopping for a goalie around Xmas.

I assume that Buffalo gets the deal done with Miller, any idea who the other RFA/UFA goalies will be next year?

Jed said...

Shane did you miss this one?

3:24PM Toronto signs UFA defenceman Jeff Finger to a 4 year deal worth $3.5-million a season

Or am I just not refreshing the page?

Sully said...

TSN is reporting the Avs signed Darcy Tucker... 2 years, 4.5 Mil

Shane Giroux said...

jed, the Finger one is towards the bottom of the page. Big overpayment so now I'm happy he left (but happy for Finger)

sully, thanks. I just spotted on TSN and put a quick post up. Off to fix a broken video player and then I'll be back with more thoughts.

Jed said...

so it is, so it is.

TSN had it listed after the goalie deals so I thought it was new :)

Shane Giroux said...

ah, yes. I did modify the timestamps so I could have Sauer/Finger together and Theo/Raycroft together. Sorry for the confusion.

Jed said...

Shane after months of searching I found the better image of "Not this shit again"


feel free to leech and rehost it :)

Morin said...

One goalie that I would love for the Av's wpuld be Tim Thomas. I love his "never give up" second effort" style of goaltending. With Fernandez back from his injury and the promising Rask, I don't know how long Boston will need Thomas !

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