As per Arizona Coyotes insider Craig Morgan, “Hearing the Coyotes are trading Darcy Kuemper to Colorado for a first-rounder pick and defenseman Conor Timmins.” Kuemper was a player many were watching with the goaltending carousel that took place on the first day of NHL free agency. The price was clearly going to be high because he was one of the more sought-after netminders, but the Avs got their new starter as the day came to a close.
The Coyotes are retaining $1 million of Kuemper’s deal in the trade. As a result, he’ll cost $3.5 million against the cap for the Avalanche.
Related: Hyman Comments On Signing With Oilers For 7 Years
The Avalanche needed to do something. They lost Philipp Grubauer in free agency to the Seattle Kraken and it left the team without a starter. That was not going to work for the Avs who are considered a Stanley Cup contender. As good as team as they had, without a goalie, how far could they possibly get? With Kuemper in the fold now, the answer will likely be, pretty far.
This has to be considered a strong return for Arizona, despite the fact that Kuemper is a quality backstop. Waiting until teams had done their work as the free agent market opened was the right play. The Coyotes had been giving away players in exchange for picks and the first-rounder acquired in this deal — while likely to be a high first-round selection — is important.
Earlier in the day, Avs GM Joe Sakic admitted that Colorado couldn’t get to Grubauer’s desired salary number. You could tell Grubauer wasn’t pleased about that when he spoke with TSN about choosing Seattle. He mentioned the Avs had their chance. Sakic must have known a deal for another goalie was possible. He said, “We have two or three goalies in our mind, and we’ll try to acquire them.”
The Edmonton Oilers were a team that was also rumored to be interested in Kuemper. Obviously, if the plan is to upgrade at that position, GM Ken Holland will need to look elsewhere.
Next: New Jersey Devils Sign UFA Dougie Hamilton to $63M Deal
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