Colorado Avalanche give new goaltender Alexandar Georgiev, 26, three-year contract extension

The Colorado Avalanche have signed pending restricted free agent Alexandar Georgiev to a three-year extension, the club announced on Sunday.

Financial details were not disclosed in the release, but sources confirmed to ESPN the deal comes with a $3.4 million AAV ($10.2 million total).

Colorado acquired Georgiev’s negotiating rights from the New York Rangers during last week’s NHL entry draft, flipping New York a third- and fifth-round selection in that 2022 draft in exchange for the netminder.

The 26-year-old is coming off an average season playing behind Vezina Trophy winner Igor Shesterkin, posting a 15-10-2 record with an .898 save percentage and 2.92 goals-against average. That was a dip from Georgiev’s better overall numbers during the five years he spent in the organization (.909, 2.93 in 131 appearances).

The trade was hardly a surprise, though. Georgiev was increasingly unhappy with his role in New York, even before Shesterkin’s emergence as the Rangers’ obvious No. 1 choice.

New York had shopped Georgiev before to no avail. This time, the Rangers found a trade partner that will be expecting Georgiev to carry the load in net.

“When (Georgiev) was a starter, he played really well, and he wanted a bigger opportunity, and he’s got that opportunity,” Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic said Thursday. “He was looking forward to the challenge. What I like about it, he played in a big market. He was in New York. He can deal with a lot of that stuff. We’re excited for him.”

Georgiev’s acquisition had a ripple effect on Colorado’s incumbent starter Darcy Kuemper. The veteran is a pending unrestricted free agent who was previously expected to at least explore his options on the open market and now certainly will be managing many suitors for his services when free agency begins on July 13.

Pavel Francouz, who backed up Kuemper the past two seasons, will compete with Georgiev for playing time. Francouz was 6-0 in the postseason for Colorado, with a 2.81 GAA and a .906 save percentage.

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