The Colorado Avalanche have locked up a goaltender, signing Pavel Francouz to a two-year extension. Francouz was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. The contract will pay Francouz $2.3MM in 2020-21 and $1.7MM in 2021-22, according to Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic.
It’s hard to ignore a player with success at every level of his career, but there was still plenty of doubters when Francouz was trying to come to the NHL. The Czech goaltender had to settle for a one-year, $690K deal with the Avalanche in 2018 despite dominating the KHL in the years prior. Then he had to prove himself once again at the minor league level, but had no problem carrying the load for the Colorado Eagles.
This year, when forced into starting duty due to injury or inconsistency from Philipp Grubauer, Francouz has responded well each time. The 29-year old now has a .924 career save percentage in his NHL career, including 24 appearances this year. A 14-5-3 record in 2019-20 isn’t too shabby either, and more than deserving of an extension.
For the Avalanche, $2MM per season is entirely reasonable for a goaltender who has performed so well. It also gives them a fall back option should they fail to (or decide not to) sign Grubauer after next year.