Assault charges against Varlamov dropped


Assault charges against Colorado goalie Semyon Varlamov were dropped on Friday by a Denver judge, at the request of prosecutors who said they couldn’t prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.

“That’s not to say we don’t believe our victim,” district attorney spokeswoman Lynn Kimbrough said, per the Denver Post. “It became clear we didn’t have a belief we could prove it beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Kimbrough noted that, upon re-interviewing witnesses, interviewers noticed some statements had shifted.

Varlamov, 25, was charged with third-degree assault after originally being arrested for second-degree kidnapping and third-degree assault on Oct. 30, following allegations of domestic abuse from his girlfriend.

The more serious kidnapping charge (a Class 4 Felony) was dropped as the DA didn’t feel it could be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

Varlamov last appeared in court on Dec. 2 for an “advisement hearing” and never entered a plea to the assault charges. He was expected to do so on Jan. 22.

The Russian netminder hasn’t let his off-ice issues affect his play. He has a 16-8-1 record with a 2.37 GAA and .924 save percentage this year and has won three of his last four starts, including Thursday’s 4-2 win over Edmonton in which he stopped 27 of 29 shots faced.

Varlamov is expected to challenge — and, at this point, is likely the leading candidate — for Russia’s starting goalie gig at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Dropping like flies: Johnson, Killorn hurt in Bolts’ exhibition

Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game One
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You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.

We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.

“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.

These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.

Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.

It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.

Raffi Torres gets match penalty for being Raffi Torres

Raffi Torres

With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.

It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.

Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:

It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).

As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.

Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:

This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.

Update: All that’s been announced about Silfverberg is that he’s under evaluation and will not return.