First reported by ESPN analyst Kevin Weekes, the NY Islanders, and goaltender Semyon Varlamov have agreed to a new contract. The deal is believed to be two years.
There has been speculation of mutual interest between Varlamov and Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello to get a deal done and keep the Russian netminder in blue and orange heading into the future. Taking on the role he assumed last season, Varlamov will bear the Isles' backup goaltender role, spelling Vezina Trophy runner-up Ilya Sorokin.
Varlamov joined the Islanders in 2019, replacing beloved goaltender Robin Lehner, who played one season on Long Island. Varly backstopped the Islanders to two Conference Finals appearances, remaining a critical cog in the organization.
When Varlamov was brought to the Islanders, it was presumed Lamoriello did so with the notion it would help convince Sorokin to leave Russia and join the Islanders - as Sorokin has stated in the past, Varlamov was one of his idols growing up. Over the last three seasons, Varlamov has been an integral part of Sorkin's development in the NHL.
"(Sorokin) is my good friend," Varlamov stated in early May. "I've known him for a long time. We've had so much fun over the last couple of years playing together. It's always nice coming into the locker room and talk Russian, especially with him. We're on the same page with a lot of things like joking around or talking about the game. I had a lot of fun, especially playing with him."
Though the cost of the two-year contract hasn't been released, as Lamoriello is fond of not revealing his contracts until all business is complete, it's believed the deal will be in the $2M-$2.5M AAV range.
With the first piece of the off-season puzzle for the Islanders now solved, Lamoriello will continue down his checklist through free agency.