Ilya Kovalchuk

Kovalchuk: Varlamov accuser wants green card


Here’s what ex-Devils sniper Ilya Kovalchuk told R-Sport about the relationship between Avs goalie Semyon Varlamov and his girlfriend, who’s accusations of domestic violence led to third-degree assault charges last month:

“I hope to God it all pans out well and maybe he can somehow reach an agreement with his princess and finally she’d be given a green card, which she really wants,” Kovalchuk said.

The Colorado Avalanche netminder, 25, is widely expected to feature on the Russian roster for February’s Olympics in Sochi alongside Kovalchuk, who left the New Jersey Devils in the summer to return to Russia with SKA St. Petersburg.

Russia’s hockey stars “are all supporting” Varlamov, Kovalchuk said.

Varlamov, widely projected to be Russia’s No. 1 netminder in Sochi, will have the opportunity to enter a plea when he reappears in court on Jan. 22 — roughly two weeks before the Olympics begin.

For now, Varlamov remains free on bond and can travel with the Avalanche. So far the 25-year-old hasn’t allowed his legal situation to become a distraction, registering a .924 save percentage in November.

The maximum sentence for third-degree assault (a Class One Misdemeanor) is two years in county jail. According to Denver Post reporter Ryan Parker, Varlamov could also face deportation if convicted.

Varlamov was originally arrested for second-degree kidnapping and third-degree assault. The more serious kidnapping charge (a Class 4 Felony) was dropped as the DA didn’t feel it couldn’t be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

Click here to read the arrest warrant.

Kings GM says Mike Richards went into ‘a destructive spiral’

Mike Richards

The Los Angeles Kings may owe Mike Richards money until 2031 (seriously), but in settling his grievance, the team and player more or less get to turn the page.

Not before Kings GM Dean Lombardi shares his sometimes startling perspective, though.

Lombardi has a tendency to be candid, especially in the press release-heavy world of sports management. Even by his standards, his account of Richards’ “destructive sprial” is a staggering read from the Los Angeles Times’ Lisa Dillman.

“Without a doubt, the realization of what happened to Mike Richards is the most traumatic episode of my career,” Lombardi said in a written summation he provided to the Los Angeles Times. “At times, I think that I will never recover from it. It is difficult to trust anyone right now – and you begin to question whether you can trust your own judgment. The only thing I can think of that would be worse would be suspecting your wife of cheating on you for five years and then finding out in fact it was true.”

Lombardi provides plenty of eyebrow-raising statements to Dillman, including:

  • He believed he “found his own Derek Jeter” in Richards, a player who “at one time symbolized everything that was special about the sport.”
  • Lombardi remarked that “his production dropped 50 percent and the certain ‘it’ factor he had was vaporizing in front of me daily.”
  • The Kings GM believes that he was “played” by Richards.

… Yeah.

Again, it’s a powerful read that you should soak in yourself, even if you’re unhappy with the way the Kings handled the situation.

Maybe the most pressing of many lingering questions is: will we get to hear Richards’ side of the story?

Coyotes exploit another lousy outing from Quick

Jonathan Quick

Despite owning two Stanley Cup rings, there are a healthy number of people who aren’t wild about Jonathan Quick.

Those people might feel validated through the Los Angeles Kings’ first two games, as he followed a rough loss to the San Jose Sharks with a true stinker against the Arizona Coyotes on Friday.

Sometimes a goalie has a bad night stats-wise, yet his team is as much to blame as anything else. You can probably pin this one on Quick, who allowed four goals on just 14 shots through the first two periods.

Things died down in the final frame, but let’s face it; slowing things down is absolutely the Coyotes’ design with a 4-1 lead (which ultimately resulted in a 4-1 win).


A soft 1-0 goal turned out to be a sign of things to come:

Many expected the Kings to roar into this second game after laying an egg in their opener. Instead, the Coyotes exploited Quick’s struggles for a confidence-booster, which included key prospect Max Domi scoring a goal and an assist.

It’s worth mentioning that Mike Smith looked downright fantastic at times, only drawing more attention to Quick’s struggles.


After a troubled summer and a failed 2014-15 season, Los Angeles was likely eager to start things off the right way.

Instead, they instead will likely focus on the fact that they merely dropped two (ugly) games.