How will Colorado fill hole in net?

Updated: May 28, 2003, 11:51 AM ET
By By Jim Wilkie | NHL Insider
Losing a future Hall of Famer won't leave Colorado goaltenders looking like Swiss cheese, but it's unlikely the Avalanche will hand over the starting job to Swiss backup David Aebischer now that Patrick Roy is retiring.

Aebischer has played in 69 career games and only one playoff game in a mop-up role in three seasons with the Avalanche. His 32-25-3 with a 2.19 goals-against average and .917 save percentage is respectable but remember that he usually played against teams from the bottom of the standings while Roy played the big games.

At 25, Aebischer might develop into a solid NHL netminder. But Avalanche general manager Pierre Lacroix can't afford to leave the team's future in Aebischer's unproven hands. Colorado needs to acquire a veteran who gives it a chance to remain contenders in the tough Western Conference while also providing leadership in helping the development of Aebischer and Philippe Sauve, a 23-year-old prospect who has played well in the minors and appears ready to compete for a job in the NHL.