The Colorado Avalanche acquired goalie Semyon Varlamov from the Washington Capitals on Friday, just a day after the team announced that they would not trade him. As has been well-documented, Varlamov was hinted that he would return to Russia to play professionally in the KHL instead of being third on the Cap' depth chart, behind Michal Neuvirth and Braden Holtby. As a result, there was no need to give Varlamov the contract he wanted.
But when draft picks start entering the conversation, a team can quickly change its mind on not dealing a player. And that appears to have happened with the Caps. Now, we can only speculate on the Caps' thought process, but maybe they believe that the first-round draft pick will be a lottery selection, since the Avalanche are rebuilding and just had the No. 2 selection in the 2011 NHL Draft. This is the first impression of the Denver Post's Adrian Dater.
However, from the Avalanche side of things, it appears that the team is not rebuilding and they believe the team can compete this upcoming season. If this holds true for the Avs, the Pepsi Center could be the center of attention this winter in Denver.