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Kulikov, Varlamov to play for Lokomotiv

Thursday, 09.27.2012 / 9:37 AM / News

NHL.com

Florida Panthers defenseman Dmitry Kulikov and Colorado Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov have joined Lokomotiv Yaroslavl of the Kontinental Hockey League, the Russian club announced.

Varlamov, 24, joined Lokomotiv's organization at age 11 and played two seasons for the KHL team before moving to North America with the Washington Capitals in 2008. The Capitals traded him to Colorado last summer.

Varlamov led Russia to the gold medal at the World Championship in May.

Kulikov, 21, is a restricted free agent with the Panthers who had four goals and 28 points last season.

Columbus Blue Jackets forward Artem Anisimov, another product of Lokomotiv's youth system, signed with the team last week.

Lokomotiv spent the past year assembling a team for its return to the KHL after the entire roster was killed last September in a plane crash that left 44 people dead.

It means a lot to us, we're very excited. We're looking to continue to build on [our] top core talent of young players. It's just a great opportunity for us to really build high.

— Panthers vice president of hockey operations Travis Viola after Florida won the No. 1 pick in the NHL Draft Lottery