Ending their involvement in the strange saga surrounding goaltender Semyon Varlamov, the Washington Capitals traded his rights to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for Colorado's first round pick in the 2012 entry draft, plus a second round pick in either the 2012 or 2013 draft. TSN reports the Capitals have their choice of the second round picks.
Colorado's first round pick could very well be a lottery pick in next year's draft, as they were the third worst team in the NHL last season and expect to be in a serious re-building mode.
Apparently, Colorado feels Varlamov's injury history and the drama surrounding the possibility of him playing in the KHL next season are non-factors to surrender such a bounty for the 23-year old netminder.
Varlamov was 11-6-5 last season for the Caps -- including a win New Year's Day in the Winter Classic -- with a .912 save percentage, but injuries to his groin and knee held him to just 27 games. Terrifically talented but somewhat enigmatic, Varlamov just couldn't stay on the ice enough for the Caps to dedicate themselves to his being their No. 1 goalie.
The deal leaves the Capitals with three goalies with NHL experience: Michael Neuvirth, Braden Holtby and Dany Sabourin. It will be interesting to follow the Caps during the free agent signing period to see if they bring in a veteran backup, or roll with Neuvirth and Holtby, both young goalies with success in the NHL already.