In a pre-draft trade the Colorado Avalanche acquired goaltender Philipp Grubauer and veteran defenseman Brooks Orpik from the Stanley Cup Champion Washington Capitals on Friday, June 22.
The following day, the Avs began to buy out Brooks Orpik and announced they had signed the 26-year-old netminder to a three-year contract through the 2020-21 season.
"He just won a Stanley Cup. He's a winner, and that's always important. He knows what it takes," said Avalanche Executive Vice President & General Manager Joe following Friday's trade. "He was just in a dressing room that went through a grind. You don't win a Stanley Cup if you're not part of a close team that believes and knows how to win in the playoffs. And he had a huge part in getting them into the playoffs. He's had two really good years in a backup role, and we all feel he's ready to take the next step and become a No. 1 We're excited to have two No. 1 goalies."
Grubauer appeared in 35 regular-season games for the Capitals last season with an overall 15-10-3 record, leading the team in goals-against average (2.35), save percentage (.923) and shutouts (3). He also started the first two games of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Last year Colorado had three goaltenders lined up, No. 1 Semyon Varlamov, No. 2 Jonathan Bernier and No. 3 Andrew Hammond who was acquired early in the season as part of the Matt Duchene trade.
Varlamov played in 51 contests for the Avs but was unable to play the rest of the season after a knee injury in late March of this year. Cue the next man up, Jonathan Bernier.
Bernier took over as the No. 1 netminder; however, dealt with his own injuries throughout the season (concussion, neck, illness, and a lower-body injury). His lower-body injury came in Game 4 of the playoffs, which meant it was time for Andrew Hammond to take the lead the rest of playoffs.
To Avs fans and everyone's pleasant surprise, Hammond was solid between the pipes in Game 5 of the post season against the Nashville Predators, making 44 saves and helping force Game 6 in the first round.
Heading into next season Colorado made moves to strengthen there presence in net prior to the draft signing Grubauer, plus two of their eight draft picks were goaltenders, Justus Annunen and Shamil Shmakov.
Fate with the Avs as of today:
Semyon Varlamov - signed 5-year contract in 2014
Philipp Grubauer - signed 3-year contract in 2018
Jonathan Bernier - Unrestricted Free Agent in 2018-19
Andrew Hammond - Unrestricted Free Agent in 2018-19