By Scott Burnside
Let's stay with the Russians for a moment, shall we?
If Bryzgalov represents the biggest offseason goaltending move, then the Avs' acquisition of former Washington netminder Semyon Varlamov on July 1 ranks as the most curious.
Varlamov was a restricted free agent who had fallen to third on the Caps' depth chart behind other newbies Michal Neuvirth and Braden Holtby. Disgruntled with his lot in life in the nation's capital, Varlamov was making noise about playing in the KHL this season when the Avs dealt a first-round and second-round pick to Washington for Varlamov.
That's a big roll of the dice for GM Greg Sherman who eschewed going after established veteran Tomas Vokoun to make the play for Varlamov who has a history of injury and has not yet established himself as a franchise-type netminder.
When he's been healthy, Varlamov has put up good to great numbers -- 2.23 GAA and .924 save percentage in 27 appearances this past season -- but his durability remains a significant issue for an Avalanche team that was the runaway worst team in goals allowed per game this past season.
A number of NHL sources contacted by ESPN.com believe Washington GM George McPhee took the Avs to the woodshed and may end up with a lottery pick for a goaltender that was virtually off the radar for the Caps.
The Avs are banking, instead, they've found their goaltender of the future.
Those are the gambles that can directly effect job security.
The Avs also signed veteran free agent and former Stanley Cup winner Jean-Sebastien Giguere to battle with Varlamov for playing time in Denver.
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