The Colorado Avalanche sit atop of the Central division with a 10-1-0 record. Their 20 points are the second-most in both the Western conference and the NHL. But what has occurred the last 48 hours could be a distraction no professional team wants to deal with.
Goalie Semyon Varlamov turned himself into Denver police Wednesday night after his girlfriend accused him of assault. He spent the night in jail after he turned himself in after Wednesday’s practice. Varlamov subsequently missed practice this morning while he appeared in court. He was able to post a $5,000 bond, was given permission to travel by Denver County Judge Claudia Jordan, and was ordered to stay away from his girlfriend and not to contact her. The charges he was brought up on were suspicion of second-degree kidnapping, a felony, and third-degree assault, a misdemeanor.
He was granted permission to travel because the team plays at Dallas Friday night. He was scheduled to start the game, but when coach Patrick Roy was asked by reporters what goalie would start, he didn’t lean either way towards Varlamov or Jean-Sebastien Giguere.
An arrest affidavit stated that Varlamov’s girlfriend (name redacted) accused the Russian goalie of kicking her in the chest, knocking her down and stomping on her chest as she lay on the ground in her apartment Monday. Varlamov, 25, was further accused of dragging her by her hair and threatening that he would have beaten her more had they lived in Russia. According to the Denver Post she has been dating Varlamov on and off for four years and lives in Russia. She just arrived in the United States for a three-month stay.
Varlamov’s agent has stated he is completely innocent of all charges. His lawyer said to Judge Jordan Thursday morning that he has the full support of the Colorado Avalanche. The team went on to say they were aware of the situation but wouldn’t comment any further until the investigation is completed.
Any time a player makes headlines off the court/field/ice in a negative light is tough to handle. The best the team can do is stand behind their player and support him while the legal process takes its course.
As for his teammates, only Matt Duchene and P.A. Parenteau spoke to on record in a Associated Press story filed on ESPN.com. They largely tried to dodge the situation, but Duchene did say that while it is an unfortunate situation and hope it gets resolved soon they are focused on hockey and that is all they are worried about.
Parenteau said Varlamov has been a huge part of the teams success this season. “So we’re behind him, and hopefully it will take care of itself.
“We’ll handle the situation as a family, as a team, and we’ll go from there.”