Pretty much everything went wrong for the Colorado Avalanche last season, and by the end of January, goalie Semyon Varlamov was gone from the lineup.
The 29-year-old Varlamov, who posted a .927 save percentage in 2013-14 when the Avalanche posted 112 points, had season-ending surgery after dealing with groin injuries the past couple of years.
The expectation following the operation was that he’d be fully healthy for the start of this upcoming season, and Varlamov has since provided an optimistic update ahead of training camp.
According to a report from the Denver Post, the netminder didn’t start skating with full pads until the middle of July, but there seems to have been strong progress since.
“At the beginning when I started skating, I was pretty uncomfortable. The surgeries were kind of tough; you have to learn again how to skate,” Varlamov told the Denver Post.
“But I feel confident about it now. I’m sure all the injuries are behind me and I’m looking forward to have a really good, solid, healthy season. It’s been a tough stretch for me, the last six months. Lots of rehab going on. But I’m blessed to have a really good team — doctors and physical therapists who work with me. They’ve done a tremendous job for me. I feel good on the ice.”
The Avalanche was forced to make a change in net this summer, after losing Calvin Pickard to the Vegas Golden Knights in the expansion draft. Jonathan Bernier was brought to Colorado on the first day of free agency after putting together a nice season as the back-up in Anaheim.
Varlamov still has two years left on his contract (at a cap hit of $5.9 million) before he’s eligible to become an unrestricted free agent.