NY Islanders: How Did Lou Do? Grades for Each Signing

New Jersey Devils v New York Islanders
New Jersey Devils v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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Semyon Varlamov

4 years, $2.75M

As reported during the first hour of free agency by ESPN's Kevin Weekes, a deal was in place for Varlamov, but the details of the contract weren't yet known. Announced a few hours later that the new agreement was for four seasons came as a shock to everyone as it was believed two years was the likely length of a new contract.

Though four years is longer than expected, there can be no arguments about Varlamov's importance to this team and Sorokin. The two have a special relationship that goes beyond the ice, as Varly has been critical to Sorokin's development into one of the league's top backstops.

"He's Ilya's biggest fan when Ilya's in the net, and Ilya's Varly's biggest fan when he's in net," former Islanders Head Coach and current Nashville Predators GM Barry Trotz said in 2021. "They go everywhere together. You see them go for walks - they truly are friends. When they are in the net, they cheer for each other, which is a great attribute to have."

Bruce Garrioch of TSN has reported that the Ottawa Senators showed interest in Varlamov, which could have involved the starter's role. While it's unknown what kind of deal Ottawa was offering, it may have forced Lamoriello's hand, offering a longer term to ensure Varly's return to Long Island.

Varly will be 39 at the end of his deal but won't be facing the rigors of a starting goalie every night. He'll be tasked with playing 30-35 games a season as one of the league's top backups.

Grade: C+