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Avalanche acquire netminder Varlamov and sign Hejda

DENVER (Reuters) - The Colorado Avalanche have acquired Russian goaltender Semyon Varlamov from the Washington Capitals and signed free-agent defenseman Jan Hejda to a four-year contract, the National Hockey League (NHL) team said on Friday.

Washington will receive Colorado's first-round pick in the 2012 draft and a conditional second-round choice in either 2012 or 2013 as part of the deal for Varlamov.

The 23-year-old Varlamov played in 27 games for the Capitals last season, compiling an 11-9-5 record with a 2.23 goals-against average.

"We definitely feel we have addressed our top priority this offseason and for many years to come," Avalanche General Manager Greg Sherman said in a statement.

Financial terms of the Hejda deal were not announced but local media reported the former Columbus Blue Jacket will earn $13 million over four years.

Hejda, 33, appeared in 77 games for the Blue Jackets last season, recording 20 points (5 goals, 15 assists).

"He will fill an important role on our blue line and will help our penalty killing unit," Sherman said.

(Reporting by Gene Cherry in Raleigh, North Carolina; Editing by Julian Linden)

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