On the first day of the 2011 NHL Free Agency period, the Colorado Avalanche made a splash by picking up four new players: goalies Semyon Varlamov and Jean-Sebastien Giguere, winger Chuck Kobasew and defenseman Jan Hejda. Varlamov was acquired in a trade with the Washington Capitals for a 2012 first-rounder and a conditional second-rounder in either 2012 or 2013. He promptly signed a deal as a restricted free agent.
But those draft picks weren't the only things lost by the Avalanche on Friday. Tomas Fleischmann bolted for the Florida Panthers when presented with a four-year, $18 million deal. Fleischmann and the Avalanche had unfruitful talks about a new deal after his shortened season due to a blood clot. He had 12 goals and 31 points between the Avalanche and the Capitals.
The Avalanche also let both of their goalies at the end of the 2010-11 season leave through free agency. The team failed to offer a qualifying deal to Brian Elliott, who went 2-8-1 with a 3.83 ERA in 12 games after he was acquired in the Craig Anderson deal. He signed a one-year deal with the St. Louis Blues to back up Jan Halak. Peter Budaj (15-21-4, 0.895 SV, 3.20 GAA) signed a two-year, $2.3 million contract with the Montreal Canadiens to serve as Carey Price's backup.
For more on the Avalanche and their offseason plans, visit Mile High Hockey.