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2008 Final Grade: Jose Theodore

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2008 Final Grade: A-

2007 Grade: D+

Links:

{{theodore}} (hockey-reference page)

2007 report

2008 ITCS (aka highly unofficial) Theodore game log

Season Stats: 53gp 28-21-3 2.44gaa 3so .910sv%

Minutes: 3028, 52 starts

1st Half: 17gp 8-8-1 2.77gaa 0so .891sv%

2nd Half: 36gp 20-13-2 2.28gaa 3so .918sv%

Playoffs: 10gp 4-6-0 3.15gaa 0so .906 sv%

Best Month: January (11gp 6-4-1 1.95gaa 1so .930sv%)

Season: Theodore's 28 wins was the 3rd best season of his career. He also posted his 4th best gaa and save percentage.

Report: Apparently, it just took him a little while to get going. From the time he was acquired (March 8th, 2006) through the end of December of 2007, Theodore played in 63 games (regular season and playoffs). His numbers: a 3.11 gaa, an 892 save percentage, no shutouts and a losing record (25-31-3). Oh, and he earned roughly $9.5 million during that time frame. Suddenly, 2008 rolled around and Theodore seemed to change from terrible to terrific overnight. In 47 games in 2008, Theodore was 25-18-2 with a 2.42 gaa and a 917 save percentage (with 3 shutouts to boot). And for that half a season, he actually earned the $3 million of his half-season paycheck. Simply put, Theodore was a different goalie in 2008; he stopped letting in the soft goals that had riddled his game. On many nights, Theodore was the only guy keeping the Avs in it; the Avs scored a goal or less in exactly one third of his 2nd half starts (12 of 36), and yet Theo still managed to put up a 20-13-2 record. He was still prone to the occasional lapse in concentration, but at least he was able to cut down on them. That just left one big weakness - the inability (or lack of desire) to adjust to deflections or screens. Still, his performance in the second half was, on the whole, downright awesome. The big question, of course, is whether the Dr Jekyll / Mr Hyde show is really over. After 22 months of terrible hockey, is 4 months of great hockey enough proof that the former Hart & Vezina winner is back to form? Personally, I don't believe it is.

Fast Fact: In 19 playoff games with the Avalanche, Theodore's playoff record is 8-11 to go with a 3.09 gaa and .904 save percentage.

2007-2008 Salary (and Cap Number): $6,000,000 ($5,333,000)

2008-2009 Status: Theodore is an unrestricted free agent.

Outlook: Back in early May, I stated that I felt Theodore could possibly command a contract over $5 million and that I didn't believe the Avalanche would go that high. Based on recent information, it seems like Theo will indeed be hitting the open market. Even if he has a change of heart and signs at a discount like Liles and Foote did, there's still enough lingering questions about his play to generate some considerable unease. Frankly, I think life would be a whole lot easier for everyone involved (fans, team, and Theodore) if a clean break is made this summer.