With the season fast approaching (starting October 7th), many teams are making their final cuts and starter adjustments. One of the most problematic positions in Washington has been that of the goaltender, but a young Russian seems to be their best bet...
Semyon Varlamov [Семён Варламов] was drafted 23rd overall in the 1st round of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. From 2006-2008, he played for Lokomotiv Yaroslavl of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) before playing with the Washington Capitals’ minor league affiliates, the Hershey Bears for one season.
The 3rd year goaltender made his most impactful debut during the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoff during Game 2 of the series versus the New York Rangers (after starter Jose Theodore allowed 4 goals and a Loss in Game 1). After working out some kinks in his 1-0 loss, ‘Varly’ went on to help the Capitals win Games 3, 5, 6, & 7 to help the team advance to the second round.
After fighting for the starting spot, Theodore was released after the 09-10 season and Varly became the starter, thus changing his jersey from #40 to #1.
He is a respectable athlete, but a questionable Russian. When asked about partying (and drinking) he told the reporter that he did not drink vodka because he is an athlete. There are plenty of Russian-born NHL-ers who party and consume mass quantities of alcohol [see also, Alex Ovechkin]. Whatever works for him though.
Remember: High-Fives are a universal language, even to Varlamov! (Start @ 0:36)