Theodore gets warm reception from new teammates

DENVER -- Goaltender Jose Theodore met his Colorado teammates on Friday for the first time since being acquired from the Montreal Canadiens and said he was happy to be with the Avalanche.

"I feel comfortable in this dressing room and comfortable with my new teammates," Theodore said. "I think at this point a trade was good for my career. I see a great future."

Avalanche players returned the compliment.

"This is a great acquisition for us and for Jose," said Colorado defenseman Patrice Brisebois, Theodore's teammate for nine seasons in Montreal.

Theodore, recovering from a fractured right heel he suffered last month outside his Montreal home, isn't expected to be ready to play before the playoffs begin April 21. He came to Colorado in exchange for Avs goalie David Aebischer.

In addition to Brisebois, Theodore already knows others on his new team. Alex Tanguay was in several Team Canada training camps with him; Joe Sakic and Ron Blake were his teammates on a World Cup team; he played with Jim Dowd in Montreal; and he trained with Ian Laperriere in the offseason.

"I've skated with and trained with him and tell you that he's not a loud guy in the locker room but more of a focus guy," Laperriere said. "He does his business quietly."

Colorado coach Joel Quenneville said that distinguishes Theodore from Patrick Roy, another Montreal goaltender the Avalanche acquired to make a Stanley Cup run.

Roy took the organization by storm when he arrived Dec. 6, 1995, and led the team to a Stanley Cup championship.

"Patrick was more experienced. Jose is quieter," Quenneville said. "Like Patrick, Jose is a big-time goaltender."

"We couldn't have gone wrong with this trade," Tanguay said. "There's aren't too many guys in this league that have won MVP honors [the Hart Trophy] and Vezina Trophy awards."

Quenneville said Theodore will not play until his heel is fully recovered. Theodore said doctors have told him they are pleased with his progress.

"They did all the tests and they told me it's healing properly," Theodore said. "We don't have a timetable, but everything is on schedule and I'm waiting to start skating soon."