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Colorado goalie Varlamov freed on bond in domestic violence case

The puck goes by the mask of Colorado Avalanche's Semyon Varlamov from a shot by the Chicago Blackhawks during the second period of their NH
The puck goes by the mask of Colorado Avalanche's Semyon Varlamov from a shot by the Chicago Blackhawks during the second period of their NH

By Keith Coffman

DENVER (Reuters) - Colorado Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov was released from jail on Thursday after posting a $5,000 bond following his arrest for allegedly kicking and stomping his girlfriend inside her Denver apartment, authorities said.

The Russian-born hockey player, who has led the team to first place in the National Hockey League's Central Division this season, surrendered to police on Wednesday after an arrest warrant was issued for him on suspicion of felony second-degree kidnapping and misdemeanor second-degree assault, police said.

The 25-year-old goalie appeared in court on Thursday where he was advised of the potential charges. Denver County Court Judge Claudia Jordan set the bond and ordered Varlamov, who spent the night in jail, not to contact his girlfriend, a court spokeswoman said.

According to an affidavit filed by Denver Police in support of the arrest, Varlamov kicked and stomped his girlfriend in the chest and dragged her by the hair across the floor of the apartment on Monday.

"While still holding the victim by the hair, Mr. Varlamov pulled the victim's face to the floor and told her in Russian that if this were Russia, he would have beat her more," the affidavit said.

The woman, whose name is redacted in the document, also told a friend before the alleged attack that she feared Varlamov would assault her after he had been drinking.

Varlamov's New York-based agent, Paul Theofanous, said in an email to Reuters that his client "is completely innocent of all of these charges."

The Avalanche said on its website following the arrest that management was aware of the incident but would not comment further until the investigation was concluded.

Although there are no travel restrictions imposed on the goaltender as a condition of his bond, it was unclear if Varlamov would play against the Dallas Stars in Texas on Friday night.

The Avalanche, who finished in last place in the Western Conference last season, are off to a 10-1 start under rookie coach Patrick Roy, the Hall of Fame goalie who won two Stanley Cup championships when he played for the Avalanche.

Seven of the team's wins have come with Varlamov in goal.

Lynn Kimbrough, spokeswoman for the Denver District Attorney's Office, said detectives would present the case to prosecutors on Friday for the possible formal filing of charges.

Varlamov posted the $5,000 bond and was released from the Denver County jail, according to the Denver County Sheriff's Department.

(Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Cynthia Osterman)

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