Avalanche Acquire Reto Berra For A 2nd Round Pick

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

In an unexpected last minute trade, the Colorado Avalanche acquire Calgary goaltender Reto Berra for a 2nd round draft pick.

Covering the Avs on their current 2-game road trip, Denver Post writer Terry Frei broke the news on the Avalanche's only trade of the day:

The move for Berra is somewhat curious.  Although Berra is playing in his first NHL season, at 27 years of age he's not exactly part of the Avalanche youth movement.  Additionally, the avalanche seem set in their NHL and AHL tandems, with Varlamov and Giguere manning the crease in Colorado and Pickard and Aittokallio between the pipes in Lake Erie.  Berra at 6'4" is 2 inches taller than the next tallest goalie in the Avalanche system (Spencer Martin).  Berra has put up pretty unspectacular numbers this season on an abysmal Flames team, but he could certainly play better behind a better team.  Here are Berra's 2013-2014 season stats so far:

GP MIN W L EGA GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
2013 - Reto Berra 29 1648 9 17 81 2.95 788 707 .897 0

But who cares about his statistics really, because Berra can do this:

It will be interesting to see where Berra lands as the Avalanche play through the final stretch.  The Avalanche could carry him as a third goaltender on their roster like the Carolina Hurricanes are doing, or they could risk losing him on waivers send him to the AHL to give support to the Lake Erie Monsters, who are currently battling an injury to Sami Aittokallio.

Berra will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season.

Here's Joe Sakic with an official statement on the deal from the Avalanche:

"With this acquisition we feel we have further solidified our goaltending situation, for the present and future," said Avalanche Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Joe Sakic.  "He has already shown he can be successful at the NHL level and we are excited about what he can bring to our team."

UPDATE:

According to Rick Sadowski at HockeyBuzz the Avalanche have given the Flames a 2nd Round Pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft in exchange for Berra.

The return seems high for the Flames considering that Anaheim standout Viktor Fasth was traded to the Oilers for a 2014 5th and 2015 3rd and the Minnesota Wild acquired Ilya Bryzgalov for the low price of a 4th round draft pick in 2014.  Heck, Devan Dubnyk moved from Nashville to Montreal for future considerations. Between Patrick Roy and Francois Allaire the Avalanche have some pretty impressive goaltending minds in their organization, so they must have seen something in Berra that they like for the future of the organization.

At first sight this looks like a huge overpay for a player who doesn't really fit in Colorado, but sometimes it's hard to judge.  I seem to remember the Avalanche getting "fleeced" on a goalie for picks deal just 3-years ago, and we all know how that turned out...

UPDATE 2:

Rick Sadowski confirmed that Berra will report to the Avalanche, not the Monsters, and that the Avalanche will carry three goaltenders for the remainder of the season.

The move indicates that Giguere's lingering back issues may be a bigger problem than Avs fans may have realized at first. With his placement on the Avs roster, Berra seems to have the inside track on Sami Aittokallio and Calvin Pickard to become Varlamoc's backup after J.S. Giguere retires.

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