The Edmonton Oilers continue their search for some goaltending depth and one name that just won’t go away is New York Islanders veteran Semyon Varlamov. While the netminder hasn’t enjoyed the best season of his career, Varlamov has turned things around recently and has caught the attention of other teams.
#Isles Semyon Varlamov is 1-4-0 over his last five games.
He has a a .923 SV% and a 2.22 GAA over that span.
— Stefen Rosner (@stefen_rosner) February 13, 2022
New York is 17 points out of the final playoff spot and have shifted their focus to freeing up some cap space and making some adjustments to their roster for next season. Varlamov is signed through 2022-23 at $5 million on the cap and with the Oilers current cash constraints, they made need to pay a slightly higher premium to get Isles general manager Lou Lamoriello to retain some salary for the rest of this season and next.
If Edmonton does get serious enough to either throw in a high-end prospect or a second-round pick in 2023 to land Varlamov, it’s likely Mikko Koskinen would also be included to even out the dollars in and dollars out aspect.
Varlamov would give the Oilers a netminder who can certainly be a 1-A starter and someone who can push out Mike Smith and Stuart Skinner for minutes. He also has 60 games of postseason experience under his belt with some impressive numbers including 34 games recently with the Islanders where Varlamov posted a .922 save % over that span.
There’s no doubt Edmonton continue to work the phones looking for goaltending depth but is the 33-year-old the answer? With only 1.5 years left on his contract, it could be the perfect ‘win-now’ move the Oilers need to get over the hump.
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