For European players in the NHL, the holidays can be lonely, dispiriting times. For the young, unmarried ones, the holidays can be downright depressing. While North American players often receive visits from family, players from overseas usually have only cellphone calls or images over a computer monitor from loved ones.

So it was with an upward lilt in his voice that Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov talked about how much he's looking forward to his parents and sister soon moving in with him at his Denver home. On Saturday, his mother, Larisa, is scheduled to arrive from Samara, Russia, while sister, Julia, arrives next month and father, Alexander, comes in February.