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AP sources: Avalanche sign Grubauer, begin to buy out Orpik

(AP Photo/Bill Sikes)

By STEPHEN WHYNO

AP Hockey Writer

DALLAS (AP) The Colorado Avalanche signed goaltender Philipp Grubauer to a three-year contract and put defenseman Brooks Orpik on buyout waivers the day after acquiring them from the Washington Capitals.

One person with knowledge of the move said the Avalanche signed Grubauer to a $10 million contract. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal had not been announced.

Another person said Colorado put Orpik on unconditional waivers with the purposes of buying out the final year of his contract. The person also spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the team didn't announce the move.

Grubauer, 26, will split time with Semyon Varlamov in net this season and could take over as Colorado's No. 1 goalie in 2019-20. He'll count $3.3 million against the salary cap the next three years.

"We all feel that he's ready to take the next step and become a No. 1," Colorado GM Joe Sakic said. "We're excited to have two No. 1 goalies."

Assuming Orpik clears waivers, Colorado can buy him out Sunday, less than 48 hours after trading for him.

Sakic told Orpik after trading for him that the team planned to explore a trade or buy out the 37-year-old. Sakic took on Orpik's $5.5 million salary in the trade to get Grubauer without giving up more than a second-round pick.

"I owed him the respect to let him know that the plan is to buy him out and let him be a free agent," Sakic said. "I'm sure he'll have a lot of teams that'll want to add him to their group."

Capitals GM Brian MacLellan said Friday night he was open to bringing Orpik back if the price was right. Orpik was a respected leader on Washington's Stanley Cup-winning team.

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AP Hockey Writer John Wawrow contributed to this report.

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Follow Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SWhyno

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More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/tag/NHLhockey

Updated June 23, 2018

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