Avs remake tandem with Varlamov, Giguere

The Colorado Avalanche, in dire need of goaltending, traded two high draft picks for Semyon Varlamov of Washington.

Colorado also adds defenceman Jan Hejda, forward Chuck Kobasew

The Colorado Avalanche, in dire need of goaltending, traded two high draft picks for Semyon Varlamov of Washington.

The Capitals receive a first round pick in the 2012 NHL Entry draft and a second round pick in either that draft or the following season, which Washington will choose.

The 23-year-old Russian put up strong numbers when healthy but dealt with injury problems last season. In his absence, young goalies Michael Neuvirth and Braden Holtby impressed.

Varlamov has gone 30-13-0 in 59 career appearances in Washington, with four shutouts, a 2.39 average and .917 save percentage. The Caps selected him 23rd overall in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.

"In Semyon Varlamov we are acquiring a highly touted NHL goaltender," Avalanche general manager Greg Sherman said in a statement. "At 23 years old, he is regarded as a solid and talented netminder by our staff. We definitely feel we have addressed our top priority this off-season and for many years to come."

The club also brought in veteran Jean-Sebastien Giguere back to the Western Conference after his unsuccessful 14-month turn with Toronto.

Giguere, who was finishing up a contract worth over $7 million last season, played decently with the Leafs when in the net but was dogged by injuries in 2010-11.

The 34-year-old spent several seasons as Anaheim's starter, winning the Conn Smyth trophy as playoff most valuable player in their Stanley Cup run of 2007, before being supplanted two seasons ago by Jonas Hiller.

The Montreal native has amassed 34 shutouts in 525 career regular season games, with earlier stops in Calgary and Hartford.

Colorado parted with both goalies Craig Anderson and Brian Elliott in recent months. Peter Budaj was allowed to become a free agent as well.

The Avalanche also signed longtime Columbus defenceman Jan Hejda to a four-year deal on Friday and forward Chuck Kobasew to a two-year contract..

The six-foot-four defender scored five goals and 15 assists in 77 games with the Blue Jackets. The Czech native was drafted by Buffalo and previously played with Edmonton.

Kobasew, 29, adds some punch to the Avs' forward corps and scored nine goals and seven assists last year, splitting the season between the Minnesota Wild and Boston Bruins.

"Chuck is a talented forward who can provide scoring to our lineup," Sherman said. "We are expecting him to add depth and speed to our offence."

A native of Vancouver, Kobasew began his NHL career with the Calgary Flames in 2002 and played for the Bruins for parts of three seasons, moving on to Minnesota last year. He has 96 goals and 89 assists in 473 career games.

With files from The Associated Press