Jun 14, 2012, 5:58 PM EDT
There was some hand wringing in Washington in early June when Evgeni Kuznetsov — the Caps’ first-round pick in 2010 — officially signed a two-year deal with KHL club Traktor Chelyabinsk.
George McPhee was not one of the hand wringers.
The Caps GM wasn’t concerned then, and didn’t seen any more concerned today that the reigning World Junior tournament MVP wouldn’t be playing in Washington until (potentially) 2014.
“It wasn’t much of a surprise,” McPhee told the Washington Times. “We would have liked to have had [Kuznetsov]. But if he’s not ready to come over then it’s probably not a good thing for him to come over because he’s not going to play the way he needs to play.
“But they all come over eventually and if he comes over in a season or two he’ll be more mature, bigger, stronger…he’s a terrific prospect and at some point he’ll play for us.”
On the other, it’s hard to buy that McPhee’s totally cool with this current situation.
Aside from the fact Kuznetsov will spend the next two years not playing in North America (unlike Dmitry Orlov, who cut his teeth with AHL Hershey), there’s also the issue of Kuznetsov’s communication skills — more specifically, his lack of them.
Upon verbally agreeing to the deal with Traktor, he told SovSport’s Pavel Lysenkov he hadn’t informed the Caps he was staying in Russia. There’s no way McPhee was happy about that development.
Regardless, it appears the Caps are prepared to play the waiting game on Kuznetsov and believe they’ll eventually be rewarded for their patience.
“He’s going to come over at some point and he’s going to be a heck of a player here,” McPhee said. “He’ll be worth it.”
- Couture accuses Kings captain Brown of diving 15
- Three reasons why the Rangers might buy out Richards 11
- Richards made a healthy scratch for Game 4 25
- Don Cherry: Canucks GM Gillis threw coaches ‘under the bus’ 20
- Playoffs Tonight: Bruins know series vs Rangers isn’t over 18
- Sens’ Alfredsson: We probably won’t win this series 20
- Discuss: Penguins overwhelm Senators to take Game 4 71
- Report: NHLPA director Fehr wants to address issue of fighting 101
- Gillis: Vigneault fired because results weren’t there 20
- Official: Canucks fire head coach Vigneault, assistants Bowness and Brown 33
- Report: NHLPA director Fehr wants to address issue of fighting (102)
- Discuss: Bruins rally in third, take 3-0 series lead (99)
- Question for commenters: What, if anything, needs to be done about the officiating? (99)
- Discuss: Detroit takes 2-1 series lead vs. Chicago (95)
- Video: Crosby scores hat trick, hits playoff milestone against Senators (91)
- Lochte says Phelps will return soon
- Tebow fact: He reminds Chuck Norris of Chuck Norris
- LeBron stuns Pacers with OT winner in Game 1
- HBT: Astros vendor fired after taking food into bathroom
- Pens overwhelm Sens, take 3-1 series lead
- Tiger calls Sergio's comments inappropriate, hurtful
- Bears great Urlacher announces retirement