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Semyon Varlamov
Semyon Varlamov.png
Born April 27, 1988 (1988-04-27) (age 29)
Kuybyshev, Russian SFSR,
Soviet Union
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight 209 lb (95 kg; 14 st 13 lb)
Position Goaltender
Catches Left
NHL team
Former teams
Colorado Avalanche
Lokomotiv Yaroslavl
Washington Capitals
National team Template:Country data Russia
NHL Draft 23rd overall, 2006
Washington Capitals
Playing career 2006–present

Semyon Varlamov (born Semyon Aleksandrovich Varlamov (Russian: Семён Александрович Варламов, Russian pronunciation: [sʲɪˈmʲɵn vɐrˈlaməf]; on April 27, 1988) is a Russian professional ice hockey goaltender for the Colorado Avalanche of the National Hockey League (NHL).

Semyon 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.

Playing CareerEdit

Early CareerEdit

Semyon grew up in Kuybyshev, developing his skills under the VVS hockey program. Before learning to skate properly, he started playing in net when he was 8 years old, preferring the goalie stick to the inferior bandy sticks that mite-level players were using at the time.

Semyon moved to Yaroslavl in his early teens and quickly established himself as the club’s dominant goalie. During the 2004–05 season, he 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 Semyon the starting goalie for the 2005–06 season. In 2008, he helped lead Lokomotiv Yaroslavl to the Russian Super League finals.

Washington CapitalsEdit

After having been drafted by the Washington Capitals 23rd overall in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, Semyon 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). he 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, Semyon 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, Semyon 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, Semyon 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 Semyon able to challenge for the spot. After a hot start, just as it seemed he would supplant Theodore, Semyon was injured. He was sent down to the Hershey Bears of the AHL by the Washington Capitals on December 29, 2009 to begin his rehab starts.

Semyon was recalled from the Hershey Bears on March 1, 2010. Theodore remained the starter, but just as it was the year before, he eventually made most of the playoff starts. Theodore was not retained after the season, seemingly making him 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.

Colorado AvalancheEdit

On July 1, 2011, Semyon 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 Semyon 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. Semyon replaced Giguere in a losing effort. Since then, he has reaffirmed his position as starter and kept his club in playoff contention.

On April 5, 2012 in 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 Seymon 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, Semyon 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, Semyon 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, he impressed early in his debut Kontinental Hockey League season.

Despite suffering a knee injury, Semyon 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.

Semyon 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.

International PlayEdit

Medal record
Competitor for Template:Country data RUS Russia
Ice hockey
World Championships
Gold 2012 Helsinki
Silver 2010 Germany
World Junior Championships
Silver 2007 Sweden
Silver 2006 Canada

Semyon 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, Semyon 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, he established himself as the starting netminder for Russia's under-18 squad at the 2006 IIHF World U18 Championships and finished in fifth place. Seymon 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.

Semyon 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 Semyon arrived to Germany, to represent Russia in 2010 IIHF World Championship where he took the starting goaltender's spot. He 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, Semyon was the starting goaltender for Russia in 2012 IIHF World Championship. He 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, Semyon 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.

Career StatisticsEdit

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP W L OTL MIN GA SO GAA SV% GP W L MIN GA SO GAA SV%
2006–07 Lokomotiv Yaroslavl RSL 33 1936 70 3 2.17 6 368 18 0 2.94
2007–08 Lokomotiv Yaroslavl RSL 44 2592 106 3 2.45 16 924 25 5 1.62
2008–09 Hershey Bears AHL 27 19 7 1 1551 62 2 2.40 .916
2008–09 Washington Capitals NHL 6 4 0 1 329 13 0 2.37 .918 13 7 6 758 32 2 2.53 .918
2009–10 Washington Capitals NHL 26 15 4 6 1527 65 2 2.55 .909 6 3 3 349 14 0 2.41 .908
2009–10 Hershey Bears AHL 3 3 0 0 185 6 0 1.95 .933
2010–11 Washington Capitals NHL 27 11 9 5 1560 58 2 2.23 .924
2010–11 Hershey Bears AHL 3 2 1 0 179 10 0 3.36 .855
2011–12 Colorado Avalanche NHL 53 26 24 3 3151 136 4 2.59 .913
2012–13 Lokomotiv Yaroslavl KHL 16 8 4 3 928 27 3 1.74 .946
2012–13 Colorado Avalanche NHL 35 11 21 3 1950 98 3 3.02 .903
NHL totals 147 67 58 18 8517 370 11 2.61 .912 19 10 9 1107 46 2 2.49 .915

Personal LifeEdit

On October 30, 2013, Semyon 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, he was charged with misdemeanour assault of his girlfriend. If convicted, he could face probation or up to two years in prison.

On December 20, 2013, a Denver judge dropped the misdemeanor charge against Semyon after prosecutors said that they could not prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.

Name PronunciationEdit

When Semyon 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, Semyon 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 Semyon 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.

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