As reported by the Russian website Sports.ru, goalie Semyon Varlamov has signed with SKA St. Petersburg of the KHL. Previous reports out of Russia indicated SKA was offering the 23 year-old netminder up to $4 million per year but Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, who held the KHL rights to negotiate with Varlamov, was unwilling to make a trade.
From Yahoo!’s Puck Daddy on Wednesday:
It was evident that the war for Varlamov between the two clubs was brewing, especially considering the fact that KHL President Medvedev, who also happens to be SKA’s president, and Lokomotiv’s president are sort of enemies. Lokomotiv wouldn’t trade Varlamov’s rights to SKA.
So SKA got creative.
SKA filed a complaint with the League seeking Varlamov’s rights because the player left Lokomotiv at the time the KHL didn’t exist and, therefore, upon expiration of Varlamov’s Russian contract he was a free agent. Lokomotiv released an official statement today stating under no circumstances will they trade Varlamov’s rights because they want to sign the goaltender themselves.
Judging from the fact that Varlamov’s Russian agent joined SKA in filing the initial complaint, Varlamov wants to play for SKA, the team reportedly offering close to $4 million. Lokomotiv’s offer is thought to be closer to the $2-million mark.
The League will decide on the matter tomorrow.
Varlamov, a native of Samara, Russia, was limited by injuries last season and played just 27 games, going 11-9-5 with a goals against average of 2.23 and a save percentage of .924. He was free to sign with a KHL team starting on July 1, which it currently is in Russia.
We’ll have more on this story as it develops.
Thanks to Fedor Fedin for pointing this story out.