9 — The number of NHL general managers who thought Semyon Varlamov deserved to win the Vezina Trophy. Unfortunately for him, 16 thought Tuukka Rask deserved it, so the award went to the Bruins’ excellent netminder. But Varlamov finished a close second in the voting, well in front of the other finalist, Tampa Bay’s Ben Bishop.
1,867 — The number of saves Varlamov made in 2013-14. That was the most of any NHL goalie, and significantly more than Rask (1,526), who played behind a Boston team that gave up fewer shots on average (29.1) than Colorado (32.7).
6 — The number of times Varlamov stopped 40 shots or more and the Avs won the game. The 26-year-old’s highest save total in a victory was 47, in a 3-2 win over San Jose on Mar. 29. Rask, by comparison, stopped 40 or more shots in two Boston victories last season.
.927 — Varlamov’s save percentage. Among goalies who started more than 30 games, only Rask (.930) stopped a higher percentage of the shots he faced. Varlamov did have a .924 save percentage in 2010-11 with the Washington Capitals, but he only started 25 games that season, compared to 60 this past season.
$5.9 million — The cap hit of Varlamov’s new contract, which he signed in January and runs through 2018-19. Per CapGeek, there are now only seven goalies with a higher cap hit than Varlamov’s.
Are the Avs due for a downfall?
Varlamov deserves Hart consideration
CHICAGO — Blackhawks forward Boris Katchouk will be sidelined for four to six weeks with a left ankle sprain, the team announced.
The 24-year-old Katchouk played almost 12 minutes during a 3-0 preseason loss to Detroit on Saturday night. He was acquired in a multiplayer trade with Tampa Bay in March.
The Blackhawks open the season on Oct. 12 at Colorado.
The team also said forward Jujhar Khaira is day to day with a right ankle injury.
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Ducks defenseman Urho Vaakanainen was taken off the Honda Center ice on a stretcher after he crashed into the end boards in the first period of Anaheim’s preseason game against the San Jose Sharks.
The Finnish defenseman was conscious and alert with full movement in his extremities at UCI Medical Center, the Ducks said.
The frightening incident occurred midway through the opening period when Vaakanainen smashed into the boards at a dangerous speed behind the Sharks’ net. Vaakanainen appeared to be concentrating on the pass he had just made to Derek Grant, who scored the Ducks’ opening goal on the assist.
Vaakanainen’s teammates came onto the ice and gathered around him as he was taken away on the stretcher.
The Ducks acquired the 23-year-old Vaakanainen from Boston last March in the deal that sent longtime Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm to the Bruins. After recording two assists in 14 games for the Ducks last season, Vaakanainen is attempting to win a top-six role on Anaheim’s defense this fall.
TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Lightning and team owner Jeff Vinik are donating $2 million toward Hurricane Ian relief efforts.
The NHL team announced that $1 million each will be donated by the Tampa Bay Lightning Foundation and the Vinik Family Foundation.
“This is a tragic situation for many families and communities across the state of Florida, but especially so in the southwest region of the state,” Vinik said in a statement released by the team. “In times like these the most important thing we can do is support one another, and we hope this donation will help families recover and rebuild in the months to come.”
Ian made landfall Wednesday on Florida’s Gulf Coast, south of the Tampa Bay area. The Lightning postponed two home preseason games and moved the club’s training camp to Nashville, Tennessee, during the storm.
TORONTO — Rasmus Sandin has signed a two-year, $2.8 million contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the club announced on Thursday.
The 22-year-old from Sweden was the 29th overall selection in the 2018 draft. Sandin had 16 points in 51 games with Toronto last season. He’s played in 88 career regular-season games, with six goals and 22 assists, and has one goal in five playoff games.
“Got a great set of tools,” fellow defenseman Jake Muzzin said. “With experience, I think they’re only going to get better.”
The signing comes as the Leafs’ blueliners been hit hard by injuries. Muzzin has been dealing with a back issue, and Timothy Liljegren recently had surgery for a hernia.
Toronto then lost Jamie Benn (groin) and Carl Dahlstrom (shoulder) in Wednesday’s 3-0 preseason victory over the Montreal Canadiens, pressing forwards Calle Jarnkrok and Alexander Kerfoot into defensive roles for two periods.