The Denver Post reports that Jose Theodore will test the free agent market on July 1, as contract talks between the Avalanche and and the veteran goaltender have broken down.
"I would say we are going to July 1," Theodore's agent, Don Meehan told the paper. "There's a chance we could still negotiate with (the Avalanche) after that, but right now it's looking like we're going to July 1."
After reports that Theodore wanted to stay in Colorado, I felt that an affordable contract would be figured out and the Avs wouldn't have to worry about goaltending this offseason. Instead, that's exactly what they have to worry about.
Without Theodore, Peter Budaj becomes the automatic starter. That may not be a bad thing, as this is a contract season. (We all saw how Theo played in his contract season.) However, a Budaj-Weinman tandem isn't going to give me the utmost confidence that this team can win the Stanley Cup.
There aren't many goalies hanging around in the free agent market right now. Christobel Huet is likely to be signed by the Capitals while Ray Emery, Andrew Raycroft, and Olaf Kolzig are either past their primes or have to much baggage for the Avs to take on.
While a trade is always possible, and certainly, it will still be possible for the Avs and Theodore to reach an agreement after July 1st, I have the feeling that Giguere is going to let it slide and allow Peter Budaj to be the starter.
But really, the question Francois Giguere needs to ask himself:
Can Peter Budaj lead this team to the Stanley Cup?
If there is any doubt in his mind, then he has a lot of work to do.