The Caps have signed their goaltender — but it is not Cristobal Huet.
Former Colorado Avalanche netminder Jose Theodore has inked a two-year contract with Washington. It is worth $9 million, according to a team source.
Theodore was 28-21-3 with a 2.44 goals against average and a .910 save percentage this past season for Colorado. He was the MVP of the league and the Vezina Trophy winner in 2001-02 for Montreal. His play slipped in the first year after the lockout and the Canadiens traded him to Colorado for goalie David Aebischer in March of 2006.
He lost the starting job to Peter Budaj in 2006-07 but had a bounce-back season last year, helping the Avalanche to the second round of the playoffs. A second-round pick in the 1994 draft, Theodore will turn 32 in September.
(Update 3:21 p.m.)
The signing of Theodore means Huet will not be returning to the District. Acquired at the trade deadline, Huet went 11-2 for the Caps and helped them into the playoffs. Yesterday Huet’s agent said his client would likely test the free agent market, but it did sound like the Caps were still very much in the mix.
This means the likely destination for Huet could be Colorado in a pseudo “trade,” or a team like Los Angeles or Ottawa could get involved. Huet will turn 33 in September (10 days before Theodore’s birthday).
(update 3:39 p.m.)
TSN says the Avalanche have signed Andrew Raycroft to a one-year deal, which could make it less likely for Huet to end up there. Huet did play in L.A. before and Ottawa would be the closest place to his former home in Montreal.
The contract for Theodore also officially closes the book on the Olie Kolzig Era, although he’s made it quite clear he wasn’t coming back. Multiple reports have him headed to Tampa Bay.
Here is the goalie comparison from last season for all of the pertinent parties:
2007-08 REGULAR SEASON
Jose Theodore, 28-21-3, 2.44 GAA, .910 save pct.
Cristobal Huet, 32-14-6, 2.32 GAA, .920 save pct.
Olie Kolzig, 25-21-6, 2,91 GAA, .892 save pct.
Jose Theodore, 4-6, 3.10 GAA, .906 save pct.
Cristobal Huet, 3-4, 2.93 GAA, .909 save pct.
Olie Kolzig, N/A
CAREER REGULAR SEASON
Jose Theodore, 183-197-40, 2.65 GAA, .909 save pct.
Cristobal Huet, 83-61-24, 2.43 GAA, .918 save pct.
Olie Kolzig, 301-293-86, 2.70 GAA, .906 save pct.
Jose Theodore, 19-26, 2.76 GAA, .914 save pct.
Cristobal Huet, 5-8, 2.65 GAA, .919 save pct.
Olie Kolzig, 20-24, 2.14 GAA, .927 save pct.