AVALANCHE

Avs Stanley Cup hero Pavel Francouz officially calls it a career

Apr 19, 2024, 11:25 AM

Former Colorado Avalanche goalie Pavel Francouz has officially retired from professional hockey.

He spoke to the Czech media on Friday and revealed he actually told the team last summer his plan was never to play again. The folks at Eurolanche, an Avs fan group across the pond, did a great job of breaking down the details.

There’s a lot to take in there, but the biggest issue is Francouz couldn’t get healthy and didn’t want to keep putting his body through what it took to play in the NHL. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, as the 33-year-old clearly sees the bigger picture in a long life ahead.

Francouz was awesome for the Avalanche in the 2022 Stanley Cup playoffs, relieving starter Darcy Kuemper after he suffered a nasty eye injury against Nashville. In all, Francouz played in seven games during the team’s championship run and accumulated a 6-0 record. He posted a shutout against the Oilers in the Western Conference Finals and gave up 2.81 goals per game.

“Frankie” chants echoed at the team’s parade through downtown Denver, as fans appreciated just what he meant in bringing a third title to the franchise.

Now, the Avs have goalie problems entering this year’s postseason. Starter Alexandar Georgiev has struggled for long stretches, and backup Justus Annunen began the campaign as Colorado’s fourth-string goalie.

Pavel Francouz will be watching from afar, and deservedly so, but you better believe head coach Jared Bednar will wish he was an option in net at some point.

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