Avs' Semyon Varlamov arrested
DENVER -- Colorado Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov surrendered to Denver police on an arrest warrant on charges of kidnapping and third-degree assault in what authorities are calling a domestic violence incident.
According to the warrant, Varlamov on Monday assaulted his girlfriend, kicking her in the chest and dragging her by the hair. Police say Varlamov told her in Russian that if this were Russia, he would have beaten her more.
Sgt. Steve Warneke said the 25-year-old goalie turned himself in Wednesday at about 6 p.m.
Varlamov's attorney, Jack Rotole, declined to comment on the case going into Varlamov's court appearance. Rotole told The Associated Press he planned to talk to the judge about the probable cause affidavit, but he wouldn't elaborate.
Paul Theofanous, Varlamov's agent, told ESPN.com via email Thursday that his client is "completely innocent" of the charges.
"The Colorado Avalanche organization is aware of the allegations concerning Semyon Varlamov," the team said in a statement. "At this time, and until the conclusion of this investigation, the Avalanche organization will have no further comment on this situation."
Added the NHL in a statement: "The league is aware of the situation involving Semyon Varlamov. We will not comment unless or until we have a fuller understanding of all of the facts and circumstances related to the legal charges that have been filed."
Varlamov was still in custody Wednesday night and was due in court for his first court appearance at 10 a.m. Thursday, according to the Denver County sheriff's website.
Asked if Varlamov will be treated any differently in custody because of his celebrity status, Warneke said: "I don't know what happens once they get to Denver sheriffs, if they do any particulars for high-profile, in regards to keeping them safe.
"I do know we consider every criminal prosecution equally important. We're concerned about the rights of the victim, the rights of everybody involved. Our goal every time is to provide everybody with a fair and balanced opportunity to go through the judicial system without corrupting that through releasing things that could jeopardize any sort of criminal case."
Varlamov is in the midst of a resurgent season under new coach Patrick Roy and a staff that includes goalie guru Francois Allaire, who once mentored Roy and Giguere.
Between Roy and Allaire, they've restored Varlamov's confidence a season after he allowed three goals a game. Varlamov said he credits his improvement to Allaire altering his form in goal. Just minor tweaks, he said, declining to go into specifics.
Whatever was changed, it has been paying off as he's among the NHL leaders in GAA, wins and save percentage (.945).
"I think Varly, today, when I said how proud I was of the way he's bounced back, he had a big smile," Roy said before news of the arrest. "He was happy. I think as a player that's what you want to hear from your coach."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.