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A look back at the Washington-Colorado Varlamov trade

Apr 8, 2012, 9:48 AM EDT

Semyon Varlamov Getty Images

The Colorado Avalanche raised some eyebrows last summer when they acquired goaltender Semyon Varlamov from the Washington Capitals for their 2012 first round pick and a second round pick in 2012 or 2013. Colorado was taking a huge risk, not just because Varlamov was young and still largely unproven, but because the Avalanche were coming off a 68-point campaign and that first round pick could end up being very valuable.

It might be several years before we know who won this trade, but the Avalanche can at least breathe a sigh of relief: the nightmare scenario did not happen. While the Avalanche will participate in the draft lottery, they are currently projected to hand the Capitals the 11th overall pick. If they win the lottery, then Colorado can only move up to the seventh pick. Either way, Washington is getting a great pick and it’s a net gain when you consider that the Capitals grabbed Varlamov with the 23rd overall pick in 2006. Plus, there’s still the second rounder that Colorado owes Washington.

All the same, this isn’t shaping up to be a repeat of the Phil Kessel trade between Toronto-Boston which led to the Bruins getting, amongst other players, Tyler Seguin with the second overall pick in the 2010 NHL entry draft.

The other factor that makes this trade bearable for Colorado is that, so far, Varlamov has worked out. Varlamov certainly went through a rough patch and at one point it even looked like Jean-Sebastien Giguere might claim the starting job, but Varlamov worked through it and was dominant in the second half of the season. It looks like Varlamov could be the Avalanche’s top goaltender for years to come.

We’ll have to wait and see what the future holds for Varlamov and what becomes of the players the Capitals’ draft with Colorado’s picks, but for now, it looks like it might end up being a win-win trade for these two squads.

  1. ravenscaps48 - Apr 8, 2012 at 10:57 AM

    Like you said. A Win-Win for both teams

  2. emperorzero - Apr 8, 2012 at 11:22 AM

    Giving up the 11th pick For Varlamov is a solid deal. Maybe we look back and think adding a second rounder is a bit excessive, but let’s see how Varlamov plays in the future and who the Caps get with those picks.

  3. polegojim - Apr 8, 2012 at 11:50 AM

    Valrlamov will be very good… seemingly the ONE solid decision made in recent years.

    But the entire hockey world is still shaking their heads at the Avs extreme ineptitude. They managed to actually get LESS from this very talented team than last year.

    How can that be? I have an idea…extend the Coach and GM’s contract as a reward for continued failure…. oh wait….

    • tru2joelu4eva - Apr 8, 2012 at 5:59 PM

      what are you talking about? almost every single one of the avs, save duchene (injuries), showed drastic improvement from last year. The team as a whole finished with 20 more points in the standings than they did last year!! “ineptitude”? um try “rebuilding” and doing so rather quickly. Varlamov is easily worth the 11is pick in a draft pool that’s supposed to be nothing but mediocrity past the first two picks. Not to mention that the clear previous #1 is already having concussion issues…

      • polegojim - Apr 9, 2012 at 12:02 AM

        Ok – your emotions obviously rule. I said Varlamov was a GOOD pickup.

        As far as the rest, its all excuses and homerism. Keep it to yourself.

        WoooHoo, 20 points better… and NOT in the playoffs.

        Rebuilding? Rebuilding my butt!

        The Avs have been ‘REBUILDING’ since BEFORE Sakic retired. It’s become the perenial team norm.

        You’re NOT dealing with a bunch of ROOKIES anymore. That’s the problem, fans like you think that way. The rebuilding KIDS are not getting it done.
        Stastny’s – in the league 5 years
        OReilly – 3 years
        Duchene – 3 years and getting worse
        The Avs best player Landescog IS a rookie.
        So what’s the excuse? Only Avs rookies can perform?

        The Avs are broken from the top down and floundering.

        Granato, Quenville, Granato, Sacco.
        Who are the Avalanche anymore?

  4. gbiscottagecheesefatties - Apr 8, 2012 at 12:33 PM


    STOP STOP STOP. don’t ever use it in another referral.

    let it go away

    -wild fan

  5. bcisleman - Apr 8, 2012 at 3:49 PM

    The book is still out on Varlamov IMHO. He may become an elite goalie, but that’s far from certain. Even if he does, however, Colorado overpaid.

    According to the ISS mock draft, the 11 pick (which the lottery could make either the 7 or the 12) would net Washington the awesomely talented Swedish forward Sebastian Collberg. Some think he may be even better than the highly touted Filip Forsberg. The second round pick, if Washington decides to use it this year instead of next, might net them Martin Frk, a talented but enigmatic power forward.

    Two potential front line players for an unproven goalie? Its not the Kessel trade, but ist no bargain either.

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