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.”
- Bishop bounced back in Game 5, but did the Rangers test him enough? 3
- Surging Stamkos: Lightning put Rangers on the brink 15
- Report: Blues will stick with Hitchcock ‘barring anything dramatic’ 11
- WATCH LIVE: Lightning at Rangers, Game 5 of Eastern Conference Final 0
- Kesler on wearing down Chicago: ‘No human can withstand that many hits’ 40
- Video: ‘It’s not the ideal situation,’ says OT hero Vermette of being a healthy scratch 5
- From healthy scratch to hero: Vermette scores OT winner for Blackhawks 60
- Video: Ducks score three goals in 37 seconds to take third-period lead 9
- WATCH LIVE: Ducks at Blackhawks, Western Conference Final Game 4 0
- Cooper on replacing Bishop: ‘That is asinine to me’ 25
- Reports: Sabres thought they had a deal with Babcock, aren’t happy (174)
- Leafs land Babcock with reported 8-year deal, estimated at $50 million (130)
- Russia to be punished for ‘completely out of order’ actions after Worlds final loss to Canada (91)
- Report: Sabres negotiating with Babcock (82)
- What’s wrong with Lundqvist? (70)