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Patience best in Varlamov's case
03.11.2013. Dater, Adrian. Denver Post

It was described as a "tough" meeting, one in which Avalanche coach Patrick Roy and executive vice president of hockey operations Joe Sakic looked Semyon Varlamov in the eyes and asked him hard questions about the events that had just landed his and the team's name in unsavory headlines worldwide.

Varlamov faces charges of second-degree kidnapping, a felony, and third-degree assault, a misdemeanor.

Any answer, any piece of body language not to the satisfaction of two of the most important decision-makers with the team, and there would be no way Varlamov would be allowed on the team's charter flight to Dallas on Thursday afternoon.

Varlamov swore to both men that the ugly allegations made against him by his Russian girlfriend were untrue.

Roy and Sakic have chosen to believe him. Now comes the hard part: waiting to see if their faith was rightly placed, or if both proud Avs executives were played for fools.

Varlamov not only made that flight to Dallas, he started in goal Friday and won the game. There were happy faces in the Avs dressing room, of course, but let's not kid anyone here: The Varlamov situation is in the back of everyone's mind. The Avs have placed their bet on the word of their starting goalie above that of a woman whose allegations were truly disturbing.

The case remains in the hands of prosecutors, and it figures to be a tense wait to see whether formal charges will be filed.

Until then, Varlamov looked focused during the game, a 3-2 overtime win in which he made 27 saves. He faced the media afterward and showed poise, asking for the public to "reserve judgment" until all the facts come in. The people around the Avs are confident in Varlamov's innocence. Roy had a long talk with him at the team's hotel in Dallas on Thursday night and came away convinced faith in the goalie's side of the story was justified.

I don't know what the truth is regarding the allegations, but I do want to make one rebuttal to those who chastised the Avs for allowing Varlamov to travel with them and play Friday. A court of law granted him bond (at a very low amount, $5,000) and allowed him to travel.

If it was good enough for a judge, why wasn't it good enough for the Avs to allow him to travel and continue doing his job while the case is pending? What kind of precedent would it set if -- based solely on unproven allegations -- a player was kept from doing his job?

If Varlamov is proven guilty, he will appropriately face severe consequences. And the Avs will indeed look like fools, and Varlamov likely would never play for them again.

But that hasn't happened yet. So why do some want to presume guilt by forcing him to stay on the sideline?

Let the process play out the way it's supposed to play out. Because, you know, in this nation we are still presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Страничка Семёна Варламова на сайте "Звёзды с Востока"


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