By John Vogl
NEW YORK -- Inside the NHL on Sunday surmised that if the Sabres want to find a good in-season trade partner for Ryan Miller, they'll need to locate a desperate team. Colorado just might become that team.
Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov appeared in a Denver court today on charges of kidnapping and assault. His girlfriend, Evgeniya Vavrinyuk, told police that Varlamov kicked her down, stomped on her, grabbed her by the hair and dragged her out of her bedroom.
Police and court documents say Varlamov told her "if this were Russia, he would have beat her more."
"Her statement is that this is the most minor of the beatings she received," said her attorney, Robert Abrams. "She's received five in all, and the last one was to unconsciousness."
Though Varlamov joined the Avs on their flight to Dallas today, the charges are obviously serious. According to the Denver Post, "The kidnapping charge is a Class 4 felony, punishable by to two to six years in prison, according Colorado statutes. Class 4 felony kidnapping is defined by taking someone and moving them to another place without their consent."
Colorado was considered a possible landing spot for Miller during the offseason, but Varlamov put those rumors down by starting 7-1 with a 1.76 goals-against average and .945 save percentage. The Avs appear to be legitimate Stanley Cup hopefuls -- they lead the league in goals allowed per game at 1.46 and rank sixth in goals scored at 3.18 -- and have 36-year-old J.S. Giguere as a backup.
Miller could become a target if it Varlamov heads to jail.