A nice read on the Varlomov trade from The Hockey News...
OK, first of all, it’s ridiculous to already make the assumption the Avalanche lost the trade with the Capitals. If the Avalanche finish second-last in the NHL again that changes everything. If they improve as expected it’s really not bad. If they make the playoffs it’s great.
They gave up a first and second round pick, but who cares? Most people get their back up when a first round asset is traded away as if that pick is a placeholder for the next face of the franchise. Let’s get this straight: Varlamov had a 2.23 GAA and .924 SP last year, which are both pretty impressive. A first and conditional second round pick shouldn’t automatically step in the way of your team acquiring a 23-year-old goalie with a ton of promise (who then signed for a friendly $2.83 million cap hit for three seasons), especially when you didn’t have a goalie to begin with. This is a known and impressive talent for two unknown commodities – let’s stop going hog wild over any and all mentions of a draft pick and overrate them against legitimate NHLers with low cap hits.
But I digress. The Avs not only filled their greatest need in the blue ice, but they also beefed up along the blueline with defensive specialist Jan Hejda. It was perhaps a bit of an overpayment (as most things are during the silly season), but Hejda will give them one constant very big man for the next four years as smaller puck-movers such as Kyle Cumiskey and Tyson Barrie start earning some playing time.