DENVER – The Colorado Avalanche announced that they have agreed to terms with former ECHL goaltenders David Aebischer and Tom Lawson.
Aebischer began his professional career in 1997-98 in the ECHL going 10-10-3 with one shutout, a goals against average of 3.35 and a save percentage of .897 in 17 regular season games with Chesapeake and 5-3-1 with a goals against average of 3.76 and a save percentage of .858 in 10 regular season games with Wheeling. Selected in the sixth round (161st overall) by Colorado in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft, he also played in two games with Hershey in the American Hockey League going 0-0-1 with a goals against average of 3.76 and a save percentage of .853. Aebischer played in his native Switzerland in 2004-05 and was 13-2-3 with a goals-against average of 2.41 in 18 games with Lugano.
In 2003-04, Lawson played two games with the Reading Royals and was 13-12-2 with a goals-against average of 2.30 and a save percentage of .932 in 32 games with Hershey. In 2004-05 with Hershey, the 26-year-old Lawson was 10-14-0 with two shutouts, a goals-against average of 2.84 and a save percentage of .914 in 27 games.
The 27-year-old Aebischer has spent his entire career in the Avalanche organization and is 64-44-12 with a goals-against average of 2.14 and a save percentage of .921 in 131 career NHL games.
In 2003-04, his first season as the starter after serving as the backup for three seasons in Colorado, Aebischer was 32-19-9 with a career-high four shutouts and a goals against average of 2.09 in the regular season and 6-5 with one shutout and a goals against average of 2.08 in the postseason. He became only the second goaltender in Avalanche history to record 30 wins in a season and his goals against average was the second-lowest in team history by a full-time goaltender. His save percentage ranked sixth in the NHL while his goals against average ranked ninth in the league. Aebischer allowed two or fewer goals in 41 of his 62 games and closed out the season by allowing two or fewer goals in 12 of his final 15 starts.
Aebischer and Nolan Pratt, who played for Richmond in the ECHL in 1995-96, became the third and fourth ECHL alumni to hoist the Stanley Cup as members of the Avalanche in 2001. In 2004, Pratt became the first ECHL player to have his name engraved twice on the Stanley Cup. In addition to Pratt, Tampa Bay had ECHL alumni in players Ruslan Fedotenko and Andre Roy as well as radio announcer Dave Mishkin and assistant equipment manager Dana Heinze. On his day with the Stanley Cup, Heinze took hockey’s most treasured trophy to visit his hometown of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, home of the Johnstown Chiefs of the ECHL. The ECHL has had a player on the Stanley Cup Champion each of the past five years that the trophy has been awarded.