The Washington Times - July 1, 2011, 02:06PM

Semyon Varlamov might play next season in the NHL. He might play next season in Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League. One thing is for sure: He won’t be playing for the Capitals.

The Caps announced Friday they had traded Varlamov’s rights to the Avalanche for a first-round pick in 2012 and a second-rounder in either 2012 or 2013. That’s the Caps’ choice.

SEE RELATED:


“I think this is a better deal for us than losing the player to the KHL,” owner Ted Leonsis wrote on his blog. “The player wanted assurances that we couldn’t make to him. I am disappointed in the overall optics here but it is always better to take the high road and we wish the player well with his new team.”

Varlamov was 11-9-5 with a .924 save percentage and 2.23 goals against average this past season.

According to TSN, the Avalanche signed Varlamov to a two-year deal worth around $5.5 million.

“Semyon is an elite goaltender who is a key part of our future success,” former Avalanche star and current advisor Joe Sakic said in a statement. “Avalanche fans should be very excited with this acquisition, as we all are.”