NHL goaltender arrested on kidnapping, assault charges
By Mark McKelvie
Colorado Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov has been arrested on charges of kidnapping and assault.
The netminder turned himself into police on Wednesday night after a warrant had been issued for his arrest.
Though details were scarce as the news broke Wednesday night, the Denver Police Department has released the arrest warrant revealing Varlamov allegedly beat his girlfriend.
According to the report, Varlamov’s girlfriend, who was not named in the warrant, told an investigator that Varlamov kicked her in the chest, stomped on her and dragged her by her hair.
The victim also told the investigator that Varlamov said in Russian, “if this were Russia, I would have beat you more.”
Varlamov appeared in court this morning with his attorney and an interpreter.
The judge set his bond at $5,000, imposed a restraining order and gave him permission to travel.
Below is the arrest warrant for Varlamov.
What is next for Varlamov?
Varlamov is free at this time but that doesn’t necessarily mean he can return to work.
The NHL’s collective bargaining agreement with the players association allows the commissioner to suspend any player who is under criminal investigation.
Eric Macramalla, a legal analyst for TSN, says he doesn’t expect the NHL to suspend Varlamov.
“The NHL doesn’t have a history of suspending players pending an investigation,” said Macramalla.
“It is not really something that an employer can really do unless they have clear directive that they can do that and the NHL doesn’t.”
If any punishment were to be dealt out, Macramalla says it would be after a court ruling is made.
Where Varlamov could run into difficulty with continuing to play for the Avalanche is crossing the border.
“My initial reaction is he would have to apply to come into Canada, but it is usually a pretty straight forward process.” said Macramalla, noting Winnipeg Jets defenceman Dustin Byfuglien had to go through the same process following a DUI charge.
For now, Varlamov and everyone else will now have to wait for his day in court before anything from this situation will be solved.
“Domestic violence is always very serious offence and that is dealt at state level, we can’t assume someone is guilty because allegations are made and someone is arrested,” said Macramalla.
“In this case Semyon turned himself in and well the charge is serious it all turns on the evidence.”
The evidence will tell the story and while punishment changes from state to state, Macramalla doesn’t expect Varlamov to serve any time in prison.
“In cases like this often what you see is probation, if it’s someone first offence they don’t serve any jail time and are out on probation for a year or two,” said Macramalla.
“It would be a surprise to see him go to jail.”
Macramalla explained that the kidnapping charge is the one that could lead to the most trouble for Varlamov carrying with it 2-6 years of jail time, while the assault charge carries no minimum sentence.
Business as always
Following practice on Thursday, head coach and former Avalanche netminder Patrick Roy met with the media for his daily news conference and fielded questions on Varlamov.
“It is important for me as a coach I keep my focus on our team and we keep our focus there and at the same time we let the law decide what it’s going to be.”
Roy said he expects his team to be all business and not allow this to become a distraction.
“We are just going to do exactly what we have been doing all along,” said Roy. “We are going to focus on Dallas tomorrow, I mean that’s what our guys having been doing all year, we are certainly going to try and keep it the same.”
Reporters informed Roy that Varlamov was allowed to travel but Roy stated he would rather wait and see what decisions are made before making any projections.
At this time the Avalance had not called up a goaltender from their American League affiliate Lake Erie Monsters in replacement of Varlamov.