Colorado Avalanche Goalie Semyon Varlamov Will Have Tools He Needs to Succeed

DENVER, CO - JANUARY 12: Goaltender Semyon Varlamov
DENVER, CO - JANUARY 12: Goaltender Semyon Varlamov /

Semyon Varlamov will now be working with Colorado Avalanche goalie coach Jussi Parkkila, an individual he is very familiar with.

One of the questions all Colorado Avalanche fans are asking — among many others — is, will Semyon Varlamov return to form? Well, he certainly has the tools he needs to do so. The main cog in that path back to relevancy for Varly will be goalie coach Jussi Parkkila.

Varly and Parkkila have been working with one another for around ten years, since Parkkila started coaching Varlamov in the KHL for Lokomotiv Yaroslavl during the 2007-08 season. Since then, Varlamov has returned to Russia to work with Parkkila during the offseason, attending some of his goalie camps.

Back when the Colorado Avalanche traded for Varlamov, he had this to say about Parkkila in an interview with Puck Daddy:

Q: How did this option with KHL’s SKA came up?

"Why this team necessarily? I was considering offers from Lokomotiv, from SKA, there were also other options in the KHL. SKA’s biggest plus was that Jussi Parkkila is the goaltending coach there. I really wanted to work with this specialist, who has been working with me for the last four years and really helped me in the development of my career. I think the day Parkkila come over to North America and work in the NHL is not far away."

Q: Maybe you can bring him over to Denver?

"It would be my pleasure to do that. It’s not the easiest thing to do. But agents and I will try to make it happen."

Well, after six seasons with the Colorado Avalanche, Jussi Parkkila is finally coming over to be Varly’s goaltending coach.

What Impact will Parkkila Have on Varly This Coming Season?

That’s the million dollar question right there folks. Since the 2013-14 season, Varly’s save percentage numbers have nosedived, and his GAA numbers have skyrocketed. Nonetheless, he is only three years removed from that magical season. Those three years were also marred by injury, and that injury may finally be cleared up.

Related Story: Avs Are In No Win Situation With Varly

So, Varly is coming into this season coming off of two hip surgeries that are supposed to help him get back to 100 percent, and will be working directly with a goalie coach that he has been working with for ten years.

That’s a pretty bright scenario, and I believe it is safe to say that the Avalanche are fully invested in Varlamov. Not only did they protect him during the expansion draft over younger and cheaper Calvin Pickard, but they also went out and brought Varly’s offseason goalie coach to the team to work with him all season long.

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If there is any season where Varly will return to form, it is this one, and perhaps the seasons to come as well.


This is either a God-send, or a pitchfork from below. The Avs need to continue floundering in order to take this rebuild seriously, and Varly returning to form may put a rebuild on hold, yet again.

However, we also want our goaltending to be solid for when we do return to relevancy with those solid defensive prospects we have in the system. Having a Varly who plays steady over the next two years could go a long way toward a new contract when it’s time to contend.

Yes, that means I am saying time for contention will be in three years. Varly will be 32. Duchene, if he’s still with the team, will be 29, and our young guns will be skating into their prime.

Next: Did Matt Duchene's Concussion Derail His Season?

The only problem is that we need to keep acquiring high draft picks in the meantime. And if Varly starts to steal games like he did in the 2013-14 season, then we’re looking at another stalled rebuild. So, I guess hope for mediocrity from Varly?

No. I am hoping he starts to steal games. Let’s be honest, he’s not going to steal enough games this season to bring the Avs back to the playoffs. Or, will he? Parkkila may have something to say about the playoffs this year. We’ll just have to wait and see.