Report: Washington Capitals G Semyon Varlamov should return from IR next week

Thumbnail image for varlamovglovesit.jpgWhile the Washington Capitals top goalie job certainly isn’t set in stone, it seems like the smart money is on Semyon Varlamov as the “1a” in the rotation. At least to start the season.

His stranglehold over the top job is in some danger because the Russian youngster is dealing with injury problems, but Puck Daddy’s Dmitry Chesnokov reports that Varlamov should be good to go next week.

#Caps goalie Semyon Varlamov is expected to be back and playing next week.

It’s an interesting goalie situation in Washington, as Neuvirth recently signed a two-year, $2.3 million extension this off-season while Varlamov enters the final year of his entry-level deal with plenty of monetary incentive to have a knock-out 2010-11 season. Varlamov and electric winger Alex Semin are the only “major” players in D.C. whose contract situations aren’t settled, so the team’s success (or lack thereof) should make an enormous impact on both players’ bargaining power.

Both need to be healthy, though, something that neither have been able to count on in their young careers.

Jason Demers tweets #FreeTorres, gets mocked

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks - Game One

Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.

We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.

It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”

Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)

Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.

So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”

… You get the idea.

The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.

The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.

Bruins list Chara on IR, for now

Zdeno Chara

Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.

It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.

The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.

As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.

Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?

The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.

This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.