Caps players whose jerseys your kids should wear - Part 3
By Nicole Weissman
This is the third and final part in my series on Caps players who make especially good role models for kids. In part one, I profiled famously good Samaritan Brooks Laich, and in part two, boy (and bobblehead) wonder John Carlson. For the final part, I wanted to do someone a little bit less expected.
Now in his second full season with the team, Semyon Varlamov has a lot to prove. For the first time, he won’t have a veteran goaltender to help guide him. Varlamov has also developed a reputation for being injury prone. What does Varly have to say about that? Little -- in English anyway. Remember our surprise in the 2009 playoffs when we discovered that our young goaltender was immune to the Rangers’ trash talk because he couldn’t understand a word of it?
It is for these reasons that I’ve chosen to profile him. Young people can relate to role models who, like they, are still developing, and have much to learn. Varlamov has shown perseverance and a desire to soak up everything around him, both qualities that make an excellent role model.
This afternoon, Varly was placed on injured reserve yet again. The frustration of getting injured a week before the start of the season must be overwhelming, especially since Varlamov began strength training back in July in the hopes of being less prone to injury. However, just like last Spring, he will overcome that frustration, and we will see him back on the ice for practice as soon as possible, regardless of any setbacks. He is becoming the embodiment of “Try, try again.”
Meanwhile, Varly continues to chip away at his language barrier. His progress has been impressive. After a relatively short time he was able to speak to reporters without an interpreter, though for the most part he still prefers to use one. Speaking to reporters in English is something a few Caps over the years have shied away from, and it speaks to Varly’s comfort level that he’s willing to give it a try. It’s not that bad English makes you a poor role model, but Varlamov’s desire to learn the language shows that he’s committed to connecting with this team and our community.
Last month, Varlamov and Matt Bradley visited Kenmoor Elementary School in Landover as part of the Capitals Hockey School program. Since that visit included a question-and-answer session with 178 fourth-through-sixth graders, you can bet Varly’s English is ready to go the distance, and since he’s participating in this long-term community relations program, you can bet Varly is ready to go the distance, too, as a Cap and a community member.
Box Seats blogger
| October 6, 2010; 4:33 PM ET
Categories: Capitals, Nicole Weissman | Tags: Capitals, Semyon Varlamov
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