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Avalanche acquired Varlamov and Hejda

Avalanche acquired Varlamov and HejdaColorado Avalanche acquired Semyon Varlamov and Jan Hejda during the first day of free agency.

The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced today that the team has acquired goaltender Semyon Varlamov (sehm-YAWN  vahr-LA-mawv) from the Washington Capitals in exchange for a first-round pick in the 2012 Entry Draft and a conditional second-round choice in either 2012 or 2013.

“In Semyon Varlamov we are acquiring a highly touted NHL goaltender,” said Avalanche General Manager/Executive Vice President Greg Sherman.  “At 23 years old, he is regarded as a solid and talented netminder by our staff.  We definitely feel we have addressed our top priority this offseason and for many years to come.”

“Semyon is an elite goaltender who is a key part of our future success,” said Avalanche Executive Advisor/Alternate Governor Joe Sakic.  “Avalanche fans should be very excited with this acquisition, as we all are.”

Varlamov, 23, appeared in 27 games for the Capitals this past season, compiling an 11-9-5 record with a 2.23 goals-against average, .924 save percentage and two shutouts.  The Samara, Russia native finished fourth in the NHL in goals-against average and ranked sixth in save percentage.  Only the three Vezina Trophy Finalists, Boston’s Tim Thomas (2.00), Vancouver’s Roberto Luongo (2.11) and Nashville’s Pekka Rinne (2.12) had a lower GAA than Varlamov.
 
Varlamov’s .924 save percentage broke the Capitals’ single-season franchise record of .920 set by Olaf Kolzig in 1997-98.  Semyon’s 2.23 GAA was the third-lowest in Capitals history.

Selected by Washington in the first round (23rd overall) of the 2006 Entry Draft, Varlamov has compiled a 30-13-12 career record with a 2.39 GAA and .917 Sv% in 59 NHL appearances.  His save percentage ranks first all-time among Capitals netminders, while his goals-against average is second (based on a minimum of 3,000 minutes played).  Varlamov has also appeared in 19 career playoff games, fashioning a 10-9 record with a 2.49 GAA and .915 Sv%.

The 6-foot-2, 209-pound netminder made his NHL debut during the 2008-09 regular season and went on to start 13 of Washington’s 14 playoff games that spring.  He compiled a 7-6 record during the postseason with a 2.53 GAA, .918 Sv% and two shutouts.  Varlamov tied for first in the league in playoff shutouts, was fifth in save percentage and wins (tied), and ranked sixth in goals-against average.  He became just the fourth goaltender in NHL history to record a playoff shutout before his 21st birthday, joining Harry Lumley, Patrick Roy and Carey Price.

Varlamov appeared in 26 games for Washington in 2009-10, posting a 15-4-6 record.  He also appeared in six playoff games (five starts), going 3-3 with a 2.41 GAA.

Varlamov, who was born in what was then known as Kuybyshev, USSR, was named to the 2010 Russian Olympic team as the third goaltender but did not see action in the tournament.  He also represented his country at two IIHF World Junior Championships, helping Russia to the silver medal in both the 2006 and 2007 World Juniors.

The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced today that the team has signed free-agent defenseman Jan Hejda (pronounced YAHN  HAY-dah) to a four-year contract.

Hejda, 33, appeared in 77 games for the Columbus Blue Jackets this past season, recording 20 points (5g/15a) while averaging 21:07 of ice time.  The 6-foot-4, 237-pound defenseman finished second among Blue Jackets defenders in games played, and was third in both points and ice time.    

“Jan is a defensive defenseman with size,” said Avalanche General Manager/Executive Vice President Greg Sherman.  “He will fill an important role on our blue line and will help our penalty killing unit.”

A native of Prague, Czech Republic, Hejda has skated in 341 career NHL games, notching 76 points (12g/64a) with a +17 combined plus/minus rating.  Selected by Buffalo in the fourth round (106th overall) of the 2003 Entry Draft, Hejda began his NHL career with the Edmonton Oilers in 2006-07.  He signed with Columbus as a free agent on July 5, 2007 and spent the last four years with the Blue Jackets.  Hejda dressed in 81 games in 2007-08 and all 82 contests in 2008-09.

Hejda represented his country at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, appearing in all five contests for the Czech Republic (0 points, +4).  He has also represented his nation at five IIHF World Championships, 2003-06 and 2008.

-Avalanche Press Release-


Eurolanche.com, Worldwide, eurolanche@eurolanche.com
01/07/2011 - 20:26

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