NHL

Varlamov accused of domestic abuse

Colorado Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov, standing between his attorney Jack Rotole, left, and a Russian interpreter, appears in court in Denver
Avs' G Semyon Varlamov returns to Denver courtroom on assault charge Monday.
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DENVER (AP)

Colorado Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov will be able to travel with the team while prosecutors consider whether he should be charged with assaulting his girlfriend.

On Thursday, a judge said Varlamov could be released if he posted $5,000 bond and be allowed to travel with the team but he was ordered to stay away from his girlfriend, among other restrictions.

The girlfriend, Evgeniya Vavrinyuk, told investigators that Varlamov kicked her in the chest, knocking her down, and stomped on her chest as she lay on the ground in her apartment on Monday, according to an arrest affidavit. She also accused Varlamov of dragging her by her hair and telling her that he would have beaten her more if they had been in Russia.

Varlamov appeared in court briefly Thursday. He spent the night in jail after turning himself in on Wednesday. He stood next to his lawyer to face Denver County Judge Claudia Jordan, who also told him, through a Russian interpreter, that he couldn't drink or possess firearms. He also had to sign a waiver that he would be immediately sent back to Colorado if he fled.

The 25-year-old was arrested on suspicion of second-degree kidnapping and third-degree assault.

Robert Abrams, the attorney for Vavrinyuk, said the couple had been dating for a year and that Varlamov assaulted her on four other occasions. Abrams said this one wasn't the most serious - and followed hours of drinking by Varlamov - but that his client decided to tell police this time because after the assault she went home and found all her things had been thrown into the hallway and her bank account had been cut off by Varlamov.

Abrams said he asked Vavrinyuk to wait a day to think about whether she wanted to go to the police. She did and went to the police on Wednesday morning. Afterward, she went to the hospital, where she was examined and released.

''She wants the world to know that this famous star is a mean, nasty and hostile individual,'' Abrams said.

Varlamov's agent, Paul Theofanous, said he ''is completely innocent of all of these charges.''

Varlamov's attorney, Jack Rotole, declined to comment on the case, saying he would defend his client in court.

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Vavrinyuk said in an interview through an interpreter with The Denver Post that she had canceled a modeling contract in Hong Kong to be with Varlamov in Denver ''because he asked her to.''

''He has no concept of when to stop drinking, and when he drinks he turns into an animal,'' Vavrinyuk said through the interpreter.

Rotole told the judge that the team is standing behind Varlamov.

''He has the full and total support of the Colorado Avalanche,'' he said.

The Avalanche said in a statement that they were aware of the allegations but wouldn't comment further until the conclusion of the investigation.

Varlamov's teammates took to the ice for practice on Thursday about the time he appeared in court.

''It's an unfortunate situation and hopefully it gets resolved real soon, but we'll focus on hockey right now,'' forward Matt Duchene said. ''That's what we're worried about.''

The Avalanche are off to a torrid 10-1 start and have become the talk of hockey under first-year coach Patrick Roy. Duchene doesn't think this will derail the Avalanche.

''You just don't think about it,'' Duchene said. ''It's tough. You're concerned about your teammate. We all love Varly in here. I can't say enough great things about him. I think we're all pretty confident this is going to get resolved pretty quickly.''

Varlamov was scheduled to start in goal on Friday night in Dallas against the Stars. Roy wouldn't commit to whether that's still the plan. Varlamov will make the trip to Dallas with the team.

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''We're going to take it one day at a time, like we've been doing all year long,'' Roy said.

Acquired from Washington in a 2011 trade, Varlamov is 7-1 this season with a 1.76 goals-against average. On Sunday night, he made 24 saves in a 3-2 home victory over Winnipeg.

''He's a big part of what we've been doing so far, a huge part, actually,'' forward P.A. Parenteau said. ''So we're behind him and hopefully it will take care of itself.

''We'll handle the situation as a family, as a team, and we'll go from there.''

Tagged: Avalanche, Semyon Varlamov, Matt Duchene

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