Semyon Varlamov might not be long for the Capitals – or the NHL.
According to a report by Sovietsky Sport, Varlamov has decided to sign with a team in the Kontinental Hockey League. It’s uncertain whether it will be Lokomotiv or SKA, according to Sovietsky Sport.
“Our long standing policy is not to comment on ongoing contract negotiations with players,” Caps spokesman Sergey Kocharov said in an email response for confirmation.
On Tuesday, general manager George McPhee said “I don’t know what [Varlamov is] going to do.” He said in a radio appearance in Toronto that if Varlamov left, “[Braden] Holtby and [Michael] Neuvirth will play here.”
The Caps have about $8 million of cap room to play with, and despite McPhee’s comments the signing of a veteran goalie to back up Neuvirth is not out of the question. There are several of those goalies available, including Brian Boucher, Johan Hedberg and Mathieu Garon.
If Varlamov, a restricted free agent who was tendered a qualifying offer by the Caps, leaves for Russia, Washington retains his NHL rights.