The Ripple Effect of the Varlamov Trade

Posted October 13, 2013

Photo by Caps Outsider

When the Washington Capitals traded Semyon Varlamov to the Colorado Avalanche it gave the Avs the goaltender they needed. For the Caps, the trade brought two draft picks. The first round pick, the No. 11 overall pick, in the 2012 NHL draft was Filip Forsberg, who is now with the Nashville Predators as part of the trade to acquire Martin Erat, who we’ve argued is being misused. The second draft pick for the Caps was used to acquire Mike Ribeiro from the Dallas Stars, who is also no longer on the team.

The trade would open the door for Braden Holtby to have a full-time spot on the Capitals’ roster. At the time of the trade, Holtby was with the Hershey Bears. The Caps even bought him more development time by bringing in Tomas Vokoun for a season, while Michal Neuvirth backed him up.

Once the playoffs came around against the Boston Bruins in 2012, Holtby found his way to center stage, and he ended up being a huge factor in that series. Since then, he hasn’t looked back – he’s been the starting goaltender for the Washington Capitals. Meanwhile, the Avalanche struggled.

On Feburary 25th 2013, Holtby was given a two-year $3.7 million contract. The Capitals believe in Holtby to be their guy in net moving forward. The extension gave him the confidence of the front office as well as the coaching staff. He is again their starting net minder this season, with Neuvirth to back him up.

But when the Caps fall to Colorado, 5-1, with Varlamov in net, it’s hard not to feel – even momentarily – that the Avalanche got the better of the deal.