Theodore... Part 2

As expected my thoughts on keeping Theodore for the season generated some discussion among the die hard Avs fans (And i say that knowing full well die-hards and fellow bloggers are the only ones who read this little slice of the internet). So here's the deal, and I agree with it. In the comments Dear Lord Stanley wrote:

The only way the Avs would be worse off by getting rid of Theodore is if the buyout and the replacement goalie's salary is MORE than what they're currently paying Theodore.

And I completely agree with this. Theodore's cap hit if he stays on the roster is $5.3M next season, and his buyout is $4M cap hit. So what kind of goalie can you get for $1.2M?

Well here's some free agent goalies and their salaries last season:

  • Jaime McClennan (aka lumberjack)- $625k
  • Markkanen, Jussi - $850k
  • Burke, Sean -$1.2M
  • CuJo- $2M
  • Boucher, Brian- $450k
  • Conklin, Ty- $575k
  • Aebischer, David- $1.9M
  • Aubin, Jean-Sebastion- $525k
  • Dunham, Mike-$500k
  • Weekes, Kevin- $2M
  • Eche, Robert- $1M
  • Thibault, Jocelyn- $1.5M
  • Holmqvest, Johan- $600k
These are all FA's to be whom the Avs could bring in to replace Theodore if they decioded to buyout Theodore. No what do we have

Players that cost more than $1.2M-CuJo, Weekes, Thibault, Aebischer, Sean Burke.

Super risky washed-up vetrens- Dunham, Esche, Boucher, McClennan, Conklin

Just as bad on the ice as Theo- Holmqvest.

There are 2 backups here that make any sense to me at all. Jussi Markkanen, Jean-Sebastion Aubin. Everyone else is just as risky as Theodore, for various reasons (injury, ability, crazy) or costs too much. So there we have it, there are two options out there, in my opinion, that are better than just taking a season to suck-it up with Theo's contract and having him as backup for one more season.

Another thing to consider is that, just because Theo gets bought out doesn't mean our owner wants to just throw that money away. He still has to pay Theo $6M next season no matter what. If he buys him out he has to pay another $1M or so just to fix that first bad investment. If he doesn't buy him out he loses the $6M more and nothing else. I know Kroenke is a Billionaire, but $1M is a lot of money, to anyone, and not something to be taken lightly.

So would I like to buyout Theo and get a backup in that will be a good backup.. yeah that would be great, but unless that young kid, Wall, is ready to be in an NHL backup role I just don't think there's a better option

EDIT: Holqvist just resigned in Tampa Bay. Apparently they like the unpredictability of a shakey goalie.


  1. I don't think Aebischer would cost as much to bring back as he cost the Canadiens this season. He didn't play that well and would probably not be worth $1.9M again. Also, Kevin Weekes would arguably be cheaper than what he was paid before, but that's totally up in the air.

    You're definitely right, though, the Avs' goalie replacement options are limited.

  2. True they would both be cheaper.. but it's asking a lot of someone to take a 30-40% paycut when every teams salary cap will increase substantially this season.

    The Avs have other problems going into this season than backup goalie. While Theo is a giant albatross of a contract, he is going to be a problem for another year. No amount of money the Avs throw at him and his contract is going to amke it go away

  3. I think it's important to remember that we're talking about the backup goalie position. Sure, Theo's contract is horrendous, but if he's limited to a backup position, the hit to the team overall isn't as bad, IMO.

    What I mean is, I'd rather take the hit and have Theo play < 20 games while Peter continues to develop, rather than bringing in Wall or Aubin or another young cheap goalie who might end up pushing Budaj, when I don't think he needs to be pushed. With Joey Q's tendency to mind-f#ck his tenders, why would you want to give him ammo?

    If Theo (god forbid) got hot and the coaches decided to ride him for a stint, Peter would likely understand that his job isn't in jeapordy. Not so sure if he perceives that he's being challenged for the job. Right now, he KNOWS Theo isn't a threat. Why introduce another unknown at the position?

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  5. Another good point Mike. I think the biggest disaster comes if Budaj gets hurt, and Theo has to be the primary. That's just a risk the Avs are going to have to take. Also that's a risk nearly every team has to make too. There aren't many teams out there with 2 solid goalies.

    And I don't see Theo getting hot as a bad thing, plenty of teams will need a netminder come playoff time, and if the Avs can get anything in return because some team thinks Theo will be good again.. well that's even better.

  6. 1) If Budaj is a true #1 goalie, as he seemed to be last season, then we agree that keeping and swallowing Theodore's bloated deal one more year makes more sense, cap-wise.

  7. I think the case has been made that Budaj is a true #1 goalie. Hell, Los Angeles considered Dan Cloutier a #1 goalie and he sucked something awful.

    Budaj has the endurance and the focus to play game-in and game-out. Honestly, if the last 20 games of last season are any indication, he actually thrives when all the weight is put on his shoulders. It's that back-and-forth, one game in one game out crap that he seems to struggle with.

  8. Even more reason to keep Theo... we know no one's crazy enough to pull Budaj in favor of Theo.. we're not sure Q isn't crazy enough to do it for someone else.

  9. I'm definitely in the keep Theo camp, mostly because of the lack of decent FAs out there. Mathieu Garon might be an interesting candidate, but I imagine he's going to find more money than we'd want to pay him. Weekes is another option, and I've always liked Mike Dunham...but none of these names excite me very much. I don't want Aebischer back, but I wouldn't mind taking a look at Denis if Tampa buys him out.

    If Budaj was a little more experienced, I don't think I'd care...but there's still a chance that he falters and so I want a backup who could carry a decent workload (so no McLennan, no Conklin.

    It wouldn't totally shock me to see a trade - the Avs have a lot of good young forwards in the organization. But still, to trade away a commodity just to buy out Theodore seems like a bit of a waste.