Darcy Kuemper was traded to the Colorado Avalanche by the Arizona Coyotes on Wednesday for Conor Timmins, a first-round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft, and a conditional third-round pick in the 2024 NHL Draft.
Kuemper was 10-11-3 with a 2.56 goals-against average, .907 save percentage and two shutouts in 27 games for Arizona last season. He has one season remaining on the two-year contract extension he signed with the Coyotes on Oct. 2, 2019.
“In Darcy, we are acquiring a proven, reliable netminder who brings a ton of NHL experience at just 31 years of age,” Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic said. “Obviously, we had to solidify the goaltending position, and we feel like Darcy is someone who can step in and do that. We feel very confident in our goaltending tandem as we head into the 2021-22 season.”
The Avalanche were in search of a goalie after Philipp Grubauer signed a six-year, $35.5 million contract ($5.9 million average annual value) with the Seattle Kraken earlier Wednesday. The 29-year-old was 30-9-1 with a 1.95 GAA, a .922 save percentage and seven shutouts in 40 games (39 starts) for Colorado last season, when he was voted a finalist for the Vezina Trophy as the top goalie in the NHL.
“I was hoping that today we’d have good news from ‘Grubie,’ and it didn’t happen,” Sakic said. “Obviously, good for him. He had a great contract offer in Seattle and he took it. Like I said, we were grateful of how he played here and what he did for our organization. Now he has an opportunity to go somewhere else and we wish him the best of luck.”
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It is expected that Kuemper will team with Pavel Francouz, who missed last season with a lower-body injury that required surgery. Francouz was 21-7-4 with a 2.40 GAA, .923 save percentage and one shutout in 34 games (31 starts) as a rookie in 2019-20.
“He was doing real well right at the end of the year,” Sakic said. “So he was recovering. His rehab was going real well. He was on pace to come into training camp 100 percent healthy. I haven’t heard anything different. But he’s excited, and we’re excited to have a healthy Pavel.”
Selected by the Minnesota Wild in the sixth round (No. 160) of the 2009 NHL Draft, Kuemper is 106-83-32 with a 2.47 GAA, .917 save percentage and 20 shutouts in 242 games (225 starts) with the Coyotes, Los Angeles Kings and Wild.
Timmins had seven assists in 31 games for the Avalanche last season. The 22-year-old defenseman was selected by Colorado in the second round (No. 32) of the 2017 NHL Draft and has seven assists in 33 regular-season games and no points in 10 Stanley Cup Playoff games.
The Coyotes signed goalie Carter Hutton to a one-year contract Wednesday but lost goalie Antti Raanta, who agreed to a two-year contract with the Carolina Hurricanes.
Hutton was 1-10-1 with a 3.47 GAA and an .886 save percentage in 13 games (12 starts) for the Buffalo Sabres last season. He is 94-88-27 with a 2.71 GAA, a .909 save percentage and 13 shutouts in 232 games (204 starts) for the Sabres, St. Louis Blues, Nashville Predators and Chicago Blackhawks.