His stats so far - 7GP 2G 2A 4Pts 6PIM +4. Plus he kills penalties and hits and aggravates the other team. All that for $1.5 million a year.
Bonk and Hossa had their best playoff run with him as a linemate. This season they are smoking. Obviously it's not all Varada. But still, he creates space for them and provides a physical presence to the line. How have Varada's goals come this season? Standing right in front of the net going down after being hit. Just what Bonk and Hossa needed. Varada is proving to be the player I thought Eric Lacroix was going to be.
Note that he is outscoring Arvedson for the same price. On top of the offence he brings more grit and leadership than Arvie ever did.
Some people thought the Varada trade was bad. If he scores 40 points this year is it still a bad deal? Klepis won't score any more than that and doesn't bring the grit or attitude Varada does.
Varada shows that it takes more than just pure skill to get the job done. He also shows how much the skill guys on the team benefit from adding grit.
I've been a huge fan of Varada since his acquisition. I think his tenacious style helps to galvanize the whole team, not just his linemates. But he's been the perfect 'first man in' on Line 1a this season.
While we're at it, how about the other Muckler acquisitions?
-Pothier for MacEachern: How'd he manage to get a useful depth defenceman for a UFA? Pothier was looking Rachunekesque out there last night.
-Schaefer for Salo: Last year some folks were rueing this trade, but now I hear that the Nucks are dangling Salo for inconsistant play, while Schaefer is one of the most active Sens on the ice on any given night.
-Gleason for Smolinski: Sure, Gleason is a stud prospect, but he was buried in Ottawa's defensive depth. Meanwhile Smoke is turning out to be a solid veteran forward who can fill literally any role he's asked to.
Add to this list of successes a restocked roster down in Binghamton (they are 5-2-0-1 so far) and our 'new' GM is looking pretty good!
It is nice to see a couple fans who appreciate the lesser lights. If Varada gets 10 pts, it would still be a great trade, grit grit grit, drive the other team mental. I sometimes wonder what some of our fans are thinking when they knock varada/shaefer type players, we have enought scoring we need these guys and if they don't score fans are calling for thier heads. But I guess they are entitled to their opinion too, stupid or not.
Getting Varada was a stroke of genius. I hated him on Buffalo. Now I know why. I love him now. He really cements the changed makeup of the team. Because he is putting the grit on the top lines. And being able to kill penalties with Hossa, well Varada-Bonk-Hossa outwarriors Arvie-Bonk-Hossa hands down. He probably wont be able to help but get 30-40points on that line. But I think that is just a bonus. His real job is as you said about causing a distraction for Bonk and Hoss.
I dont know if it was Varada, but Bonk seems a different player now that his old friend Varada is here. And playing with Hossa makes teams think about Vaclav when Hossa is on the ice. This guy has been a gift from the gods. Maybe he'll become our Claude Lemieux if we're lucky. Im liking him more and more each game
count me in as a long time Varada fan....he played one year of junior hockey here (his first in N. America) and I own his one and only road gamer from that season (94-95). And no, I'm not looking to sell it anytime soon...or ever! :p
he was a big-time scoring machine then, but I'm still glad to see him carve out a niche in the NHL. and thank God he got traded to Buffalo before wasting his time with the Sharks.........
when I saw the title on this thread, I had to jump on for my 2¢.
Lauri from Tacoma
p.s. now if we could only get nit-wit Gary Thorne from ESPN to pronounce his friggin' name correctly, I'd truly be happy! (Gary....that's "Vaclav" without the "K" sound in it, you moron!)
I've been gone for a while, but it does my heart no end of good to see such an outpouring of support for Varada. The intangibles that he brings are stunningly noticeable on this team, and I'm very pleased to see that he's getting some recognition for them (especially from Martin, in terms of quality ice time).