21 April, 2014

Checking In With Varly

Pavel Lysenkov and Dmitry Chesnokov checked in with Hershey Bears’ netminder Simeon Varlamov to see how the Washington Capitals’ prospect is handling life in the AHL (original interview available at SovSport).

Varlamov: “I am not playing right now because of the knee ligaments injury.  The injury is not serious,  but I have already missed a week and a half because of it.”
SovSport: Your statistics with the Hershey Bears are great: 16 wins in 21 games with 2 shutouts!


“It all could have been a lot better.  In the last two games [that I played] I conceded 10 goals.  Before that my GAA was 2.10, and now it’s 2.43.  Why did that happen?  Hershey had a long winning streak. Usually there is a slump after that. We have a very good team; Hershey is in the first place in the AHL. Our two guys Keith Aucoin and Alexandre Giroux are battling each other for the title of the best scorer in the AHL. Giroux is also the top point getter. The Bears won the Calder Cup in 2005-2006. Half of that team is now playing in the NHL – Mike Green, Eric Fehr, Thomas Fleishmann…  And Hershey’s former coach Bruce Boudreau is Washington’s head coach.”
It is strange that with your great stats you didn’t play in the AHL all star game.
“I wasn’t called…  It’s a shame.  I wanted to be there very much.  I cannot tell you exactly how the teams were picked.  I think that journalists did [the picking].”
Are you upset about not being called up to the NHL? In Washington your salary would got up a lot.
“I was upset. [My] two games in the NHL turned out to be wins. I wanted to keep playing but I was sent back to the farm. I understand that there are circumstances that I can do nothing about.”
Is it possible that if Washington does not recall you then Hershey would let you go to the World Championships in Switzerland?
“No one is going to let me go.  I am certain that Hershey will make the playoffs. Some say that we can even win the Calder Cup. The World Championships start in the second half of April.  But our regular season ends only on April 12.  No, there is no way I can make it to Switzerland…”
Not long ago Washington Capitals’ goaltending coach Dave Prior visited you in Hershey.  Did you speak with him about the plans for the future?
“No, but I don’t feel left out here. Quite often Boudreau, George McPhee visit Hershey.  There are a lot of scouts. The Bears’ head coach talks a lot with Boudreau after every game.  They know every little detail about every player.”
It seems like you’re stuck on the farm for now…  Were you called by the KHL?
“No one called me personally. Maybe they spoke with my agent and he didn’t tell me not to get me upset, because in Russia I could have made a lot more than in the AHL.” [Varlamov laughs]
You make about $50-$70 thousand a year?
“Yes, about, minus taxes. I rent an apartment on my own, bought a car. No one gives you anything here on a plate. This is not Russia, where a foreign [player] comes and has everything included in his contract: a free apartment, a car, other concessions.”
Is this enough money to live?
“I even have some left.”
To go on a tour of the chocolate factory?
“I can’t stand [anything] sweet anymore.  There is chocolate in Hershey on every corner.  There is so much that fans even get it for free at every game.  It’s good, delicious.  But I like “Alenka” [Russian chocolate] better.  It tastes like homeland.”
Why do they call you “Sim-ee-on” in America?
“That’s how they read my name. I hate it, to be honest.”
Then explain what’s right.  For example, [Kovalchuk's name is often mispronounced].  But those who know say it right.
“What haven’t they called me here!  I have counted at least four versions.  But the most unflattering was S-e-m-e-n. Look it up yourself how it is translated from English. It’s good that I now have a nickname: fans call me Varly.”
Almost like a Hollywood movie: ”Varly and the Chocolate Factory.”
“Yes, there’s something to that.”
What do you have as a keepsake from your debut game at Montreal?
“The puck, of course. And I also have a DVD with the game. My father took it home. I think he watches it every day… When I watch Montreal’s home games, I always remember how I played in that arena. Wow! That was quite a time!”


  1. vt caps fan wrote:

    great read. I can’t wait until this guy is up here full time.

    3 February, 2009 at 7:03 pm | Permalink
  2. hockeygrl76 wrote:

    Didn’t Varly and the team say the last time that he was up here that he really got emotional about the games and was really tired afterwards? This isn’t a bad thing but it’s a long season and I’d rather him get used to playing over here first and learning how to pace himself then throwing him up here in the NHL and getting pooped half way through the season. Everyone makes it sound like a bad thing that he’s in Hershey but I think it sounds like he’s getting good conditioning. I’d rather not rush him…or let him rush himself…

    3 February, 2009 at 8:53 pm | Permalink
  3. turquoise_donkey wrote:

    so does anyone know how to pronounce his first name?

    3 February, 2009 at 10:17 pm | Permalink
  4. Gustafsson wrote:

    This is what is listed in the official NHL Media Pronunciation Guide:
    sih-MEE-awn vahr-LAH-mawv

    3 February, 2009 at 10:47 pm | Permalink
  5. jeff wrote:

    Apparently it’s “Se-myon”.

    3 February, 2009 at 10:54 pm | Permalink
  6. Mike wrote:

    We need a recording of Simeon pronouncing his own name so we can settle this once and for all. :)

    4 February, 2009 at 11:43 am | Permalink
  7. “Varly and the Chocolate Factory??!”

    5 February, 2009 at 2:57 pm | Permalink
  8. NatyBG wrote:

    Stick it out Varly…give it a year or two and you will be great Caps goalie! Oh, and not to mention a great paycheck to go with it! The KHL is not the way to go…if you want to be a legend the NHL is your game! Can’t wait to see Varly back in Washington! Try to get better quick…if Johnson has surgery…there is your “golden ticket” Varly and the Chocolate factory!

    5 February, 2009 at 6:15 pm | Permalink
  9. Lucas wrote:

    I’m almost certain it is “SYEM-yone” or “syem-YONE” (I don’t know which syllable is stressed). Of course, I am assuming the Russian spelling on Wikipedia is correct.
    –°–µ–º—ë–? is his first name (apparently). I study Russian in school, and the alphabet is consistent (much easier than English), so I am 99.9% confident in the pronunciation.
    Russian Lesson:
    The “–°” is the “s” sound, like in the word “sound.”
    The “–µ” is the “ye” sound, like in “yes.”
    The “–º” is the “m” sound, like in “mat.”
    The “—ë” is the “yo” sound, like in “yogurt.”
    The “–?” is the “n” sound like in “new.”
    Hence, Syemyone.
    Oh yeah, and in Russian, you roll all “R”s all the time.
    P.s., yes that is the “ye” sound. Evgeni Malkin is actually “Yev-gye-nee” “Mal-keen.”

    5 March, 2009 at 7:17 pm | Permalink