Varlamov at Capitals convention in 2009
April 27, 1988 |
Kuybyshev, Russian SFSR,
|Height||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|Weight||209 lb (95 kg; 14 st 13 lb)|
|NHL Draft||23rd overall, 2006
Semyon Aleksandrovich Varlamov (Russian: Семён Александрович Варламов, Russian pronunciation: [sʲɪˈmʲɵn vɐrˈlaməf]; born April 27, 1988) is a Russian professional ice hockey goaltender for the Colorado Avalanche of the National Hockey League (NHL). He first played professionally with Lokomotiv Yaroslavl of the then Russian Super League after he was drafted in the first round, 23rd overall by the Washington Capitals in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.
Varlamov grew up in Kuybyshev, developing his skills under the VVS hockey program. Before learning to skate properly, he started playing in net at the age of eight, preferring the goalie stick to the inferior bandy sticks that mite-level players were using at the time. The young goalie moved to Yaroslavl in his early teens and quickly established himself as the club’s dominant goalie. During the 2004–05 season, Varlamov made his debut on Lokomotiv’s junior farm club, Lokomotiv-2, playing as backup to Ivan Kaustin in the 1st League (Russia 3). During the summer of 2005, Kasutin was loaned to Penza, effectively making Varlamov the starting goalie for the 2005–06 season. In 2008, he helped lead Lokomotiv Yaroslavl to the Russian Super League finals.
After having been drafted by the Washington Capitals 23rd overall in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, Varlamov was signed by the Capitals to a three year, entry-level contract on July 11, 2007. He came to North America for the 2008–09 season and played, for the most part, with the Capitals' minor league affiliate, the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League (AHL). Varlamov was called up, however, on several occasions during the season and played his first NHL game on December 13, 2008, against the Montreal Canadiens. Making 32 saves, he won his debut 2–1 and was named the first star of the game. His home debut in Washington came five days later on December 18 against the St. Louis Blues, where he made 29 saves on 31 shots and was named the second star of the game in a 4–2 Capitals win. After regular Capitals backup Brent Johnson was sidelined with a hip injury in February 2009, Varlamov assumed the backup position behind José Théodore. He went 4–0–1 with a 2.37 goals against average and .918 save percentage in six games with the Capitals, while also going 19–7–1 in 27 games with the Bears in the AHL.
During the first round of the 2009 playoffs against the New York Rangers, Varlamov replaced Jose Theodore, after Theodore allowed 4 goals to lose game one. He subsequently made his NHL playoff debut on April 18, 2009, losing the second game of the series 1–0. He went on to win game three 4–0 on April 20, recording his first career NHL shutout. On April 24, game five of the series, Varlamov achieved his second shutout by the same score, 4–0. He won the next two games 5–3 and 2–1, respectively, to help the Washington Capitals advance to the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 1998. In Game 1 of the second round against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Varlamov made a spectacular save on Sidney Crosby that NHL pundits have dubbed "the save of the playoffs." In Game 7 of that series, after allowing four early goals, he was pulled in favor of deposed starter José Théodore in which the Capitals were eliminated 6-2 by the eventual Stanley Cup champions.
The next season, Theodore began the season as the starter, with Varlamov able to challenge for the spot. After a hot start, just as it seemed he would supplant Theodore, Varlamov was injured. Varlamov was sent down to the Hershey Bears of the AHL by the Washington Capitals on December 29, 2009 to begin his rehab starts. Varlamov was recalled from the Hershey Bears on March 1, 2010. Theodore remained the starter, but just as it was the year before, Varlamov eventually made most of the playoff starts. Theodore was not retained after the season, seemingly making Varlamov the official starter. However, he eventually lost out to rookie Michal Neuvirth, and Neuvirth was instead Theodore's successor.
On July 9, 2010, it was announced that Varlamov changed his jersey number from the recognizable number 40 to number 1.
On July 1, 2011, Varlamov was traded to the Colorado Avalanche for a first round pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft and a second in either 2012 or 2013. As a restricted free agent at the time of his trade he was then signed to a three-year, 8.5 million dollar contract with the Avalanche the following day, marking his projection as the Avalanche's starting goaltender.
The start of the 2011–12 season proved successful for Varlamov and the Avs, but a disastrous November put the club back to the bottom of the Northwest Division. Varlamov was often benched in favor of veteran backup J-S Giguere, originally brought in by the Avalanche to mentor the young Russian. With Giguere's exemplary effort in net, the Avs climbed back within the race for bottom playoff spots in the Western Conference. On February 15, 2012, Giguere pulled his groin in the first period against the Vancouver Canucks. Varlamov replaced Giguere in a losing effort. Since then, he has reaffirmed his position as starter and kept his club in playoff contention.
April 5, 2012, Game 81 of the season, in a must-win situation for the Avs' playoff hopes, Semyon made his career high 8th consecutive start and let up 4 goals in a 5–2 loss against the last placed Columbus Blue Jackets at Pepsi Center. Two of which goals came from Columbus captain Rick Nash, the other two from rookie Cam Atkinson who notched his first career hat-trick with an empty-net goal after Varlamov was pulled in favor of an extra skater at the end of the game. The loss ended Colorado's playoff bid. This game finished his season with a .913 SV% and a 2.59 GAA with a 26–24–3 record. Despite his well known contempt for the post-overtime tiebreaker, Varlamov went undefeated in the shootout in the 11–12 season, winning all 8 of his contests and allowing only two goals in 24 attempts.
With the 2012–13 NHL lockout cancelling the start of the NHL season, Varlamov signed a lockout contract to return to his Russian club, Lokomotiv Yaroslavl on September 27, 2012. Used as one of three main goaltenders on the Lokomotiv roster, Varlamov impressed early in his debut Kontinental Hockey League season. Despite suffering a knee injury Varlamov played in 16 games and led the KHL in goals against average and save percentage before the conclusion of the NHL lockout called for his return to the Avalanche on January 6, 2013.
Varlamov struggled during the lockout shortened 2012–13 NHL season only posting 11 wins in 35 game played and ended the season with a career-worst 3.02 GAA and .903 Save percentage as the Avalanche missed the playoffs again and finished last in the Western Conference.
On October 30, 2013, Varlamov surrendered to Denver police and was arrested on domestic violence charges on his girlfriend, including second degree kidnapping and third degree assault.
On November 22, 2013, Varlamov was charged with misdemeanour assault of his girlfriend. If convicted, he could face probation or up to two years in prison.
When Varlamov first started playing for the Capitals, his name was most often pronounced VAR-la-mov. However, Varlamov has since corrected journalists and the Capitals television team, who mentioned it often during Game Four of the 2009 Eastern Conference Quarter-finals. The correct pronunciation is var-LA-mov, similar to the syllable emphasis of the last names of fellow Russian netminders Evgeni Nabokov and Ilya Bryzgalov.
On August 5, 2009, Varlamov registered a change of spelling of his first name with the NHL, "for the upcoming season and foreseeable future," from the incorrect "Simeon" to "Semyon." In the Russian alphabet, Varlamov's first name is spelled "Семён." The Russian letter (ё), equates to the sound (yo) in English. Other transliterated variations in use include Semen (as it is written in the NHL 09 video game), Semyen, Simyan, Simyon, etc.
In response to attempts by Varlamov and other Russian players to correct the spellings of their names, the IIHF came out with a standardized code in 2011 for transliterating names from the Cyrillic to the Latin script.
|Competitor for Russia|
|World Junior Championships|
Varlamov was a backup for Russia during the 2005 IIHF World U18 Championships, where they finished fifth. He then earned the backup position over Lokomotiv-2 teammate Ivan Kaustin for Russia at the 2006 World Junior Championships as a seventeen-year-old. Backing up Anton Khudobin, Varlamov did not see much ice time, skating only in a game against Latvia, allowing one goal in a 3–1 round robin win. He earned a silver medal with Russia as they were defeated 5–0 in the final by Canada.
Later that year, Varlamov established himself as the starting netminder for Russia's under-18 squad at the 2006 IIHF World U18 Championships and finished in fifth place. He began the 2007 Super Series as Russia's starter at the under-20 level, but was later pulled in the series in favour of Sergei Bobrovsky. He regained the starting position at the 2007 World Junior Championships and recorded a 1.51 GAA (second among tournament goalies to Carey Price of Canada) along with 2 shutouts. Russia was, however, defeated by Canada for the second consecutive year in the gold medal game to earn another silver medal.
Varlamov was selected to represent Russia for the 2010 Olympics. He was the youngest man on the team by two years. He was the third goaltender on the team, behind starter Evgeni Nabokov, and backup Ilya Bryzgalov. Russia's tournament ended as they lost to Canada by 7-3 in the quarter finals. Varlamov didn't play a single minute in the olympic tournament.
The same year Varlamov arrived to Germany, to represent Russia in 2010 IIHF World Championship, where he took the starting goaltender's spot. Varlamov helped the Russian team to the World Championships final, where Russia faced Czech Republic. Russia lost the game 2-1, becoming the silver medalist. In 2012, Varlamov was the starting goaltender for Russia in 2012 IIHF World Championship. Varlamov played extremely well in Russia's net and was a very important piece in the team, that reached the World Championships final, where they faced the Slovakian team. Russia won the final by 6-2 and won the tournament and World Championship, and received the gold medals.
In 2013 IIHF World Championships in Finland and Sweden, Varlamov was Russia's second choice behind the Philadelphia Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov, even though they played nearly as much. Bryzgalov was the starter agains United States, in the quarter finals. where USA crushed Russia by 8-3 and team's tournament ended, even though it had many star players like Ilya Kovalchuk and Alexander Ovechkin.
Regular season and playoffs
- "Is Ovechkin Playing Through an Injury?". Capitals Insider. 2009-04-30. Retrieved 2009-05-05.
- "Varlamov good to go". Washington Times. Retrieved 2009-04-20.
- "Brent Johnson: Rehab, rehab and movies". Washington Post. Retrieved 2009-04-20.
- "Benching in game two surprises Theodore". Washington Times. 2009-04-20. Retrieved 2009-04-20.
- "Second-period report: Varlamov makes save of the playoffs". ESPN. 2009-05-04. Retrieved 2009-05-04.
- "Caps trade Semyon Varlamov to Avs". ESPN. 2011-07-02. Retrieved 2011-07-02.
- "Trade to Avalanche a perfect scenario for Varlamov". Fox Sports. 2011-07-07. Retrieved 2012-01-14.
- "Varlamov returns to Lokomotiv!" (in Russian). Lokomotiv Yaroslavl. 2012-09-27. Retrieved 2012-09-27.
- "Varlamov- The best goaltender of the week in the KHL" (in Russian). Lokomotiv Yaroslavl. 2013-01-02. Retrieved 2013-01-02.
- "Semyon Varlamov suffers knee injury". Denver Post. 2012-12-02. Retrieved 2012-12-02.
- "Thanks guys!" (in Russian). Lokomotiv Yaroslavl. 2013-01-06. Retrieved 2013-01-07.
- Parker, Ryan; Groke, Nick (October 30, 2013). "Semyon Varlamov, Avalanche goalie, arrested on domestic violence charges". The Denver Post. Retrieved October 30, 2013.
- Canadian Press (2013-11-22). "Avalanche goaltender Varlamov charged with assault". TSN.ca. Retrieved 2013-11-22.
- "Capitals rookie goalie Varlamov making a name for himself". TSN. 2009-05-01. Retrieved 2009-05-04.
- "New rules for Russian names". International Ice Hockey Federation. 2011-04-05. Retrieved 2011-04-05.
- Semyon Varlamov's player profile at NHL.com
- Semyon Varlamov's career statistics at The Internet Hockey Database
- Semyon Varlamov biography at hockeygoalies.org
- RussianProspects.com Semen Varlamov's Profile
- Hockey's Future Player's Profile
|Washington Capitals first round draft pick