GAA: 2.47 | SVP: 0.924
The Colorado Avalanche on Thursday signed the 25-year-old goaltender to a five-year contract extension through the 2018-19 season. No financial figures were released, though multiple media reports say the deal is worth $29.5 million, an average annual value of $5.9 million.
"It was a big day for us," coach Patrick Roy said. "I'm sure it's a great day for Varly as well. He certainly deserved that contract. We're very happy it's a done deal."
Varlamov is 27-9-5 with a 2.47 goals-against average, .924 save percentage and one shutout in 43 games this season. He earned his career-high 27th victory Thursday night with a 5-4 win against the Minnesota Wild.
Avalanche executive vice president of hockey operations Joe Sakic said Varlamov is a key part of the rebuilding effort that has made Colorado one of the NHL's surprise teams this season. It is third in the Central Division with 73 points after finishing next-to-last in the overall standings in 2012-13.
"I'm very excited to have him for the next five years," Sakic said. "He showed a commitment that he wanted to stay and be part of this. He's had such a tremendous year for us. He's obviously excited to be working with [goaltending coach] Francois Allaire and Patrick. Him and Francois have a great relationship. It's exciting that he's committed to be here a long time and trying to win a championship like we are. I've watched him play this year and there are not too many guys in the League I can think of who have been as valuable to their team as he's been for us. It's a great day for us.
"He's only 25 and he's heading into his peak years. We're just excited that we have our goalie locked in for a long time. Both sides wanted to come together and get something done. It was pretty easy."
Varlamov, who would have been a restricted free agent after this season, was named to Russia's team for the 2014 Sochi Olympics. It will be his second straight appearance at the Olympics; he was named to the Russian team in 2010 but did not play.
"It's a good thing to sign the deal right now so I don't have to worry about the contract situation anymore," Varlamov said. "Now I can stay focused on my game. The Olympics is coming and that's a big thing too. I don't have to worry about the contract and the Olympics."
Varlamov is 11-1-1 in his past 13 starts and 14-1-5 in his past 22 games, including 20 starts. He went 11-0-5 over a span of 16 starts from Dec. 12 through Jan. 18, equaling the longest streak without a regulation loss in franchise history; Peter Budaj had a 16-game streak in in 2006-07. Varlamov is 10-1-1 this month, setting the franchise record for wins in January.
Varlamov was selected by the Washington Capitals in the first round (No. 23) of the 2006 NHL Draft, and was acquired by Colorado on July 1, 2011. In 190 NHL games, Varlamov is 94-67-23 with 12 shutouts, a 2.58 GAA and .915 save percentage.