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Breaking News – Islanders sign Semyon Varlamov, re-sign Tom Kuhnhackl

The New York Islanders have agreed to a four year deal with free agent goaltender Semyon Varlamov, and have re-signed forward Tom Kuhnhackl to a one year deal.  Varlamov comes from Colorado and has shown to be a high-caliber goaltender with both the Avalanche and the Washington Capitals.  Financial terms were not released.

The signing of Varlamov isn’t shocking considering Robin Lehner rejected a previous offer from the Islanders of two years, $5M AAV.  There will be a separate article on Lehner and his decision to take his talents to Chicago, but for Varlamov, this deal smells like there’s something else brewing.

Varlamov is Russian and is very close with Islander’s draft pick and prized goaltender, Ilya Sorokin.  The four year term is a bit much but they may have signed Varlamov strictly to woo Sorokin over from the KHL.  If that’s the case, the Islanders may be getting one of the great non-NHL goaltenders as soon as next season.  It’s a huge gamble, but obviously Lou Lamoriello felt it was worth it.

As for Kuhnhackl, he returns to the Island after a good season as a 13th forward for the most part.  He had two goals called off in the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs and played well in his 55 games played during the regular season (3 G, 7 A, 10 P).  Kuhnhackl will mostly be used in a similar role and as a positive influence on the young Islander forwards.

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