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Caps GM doesn’t expect Kuznetsov until late next season, if not 2014-15

Jul 10, 2013, 11:50 PM EDT

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Washington Capitals fans probably look at nice North American debuts such as Vladimir Tarasenko‘s with the St. Louis Blues and wonder: “When will Evgeny Kuznetsov – our tantalizing young Russian forward – emerge?”

Caps GM George McPhee joined ESPN 980 on Wednesday and relayed the mixed news: he’s unlikely to debut with Washington until after the KHL’s 2013-14 season ends. In fact, he might not play for the Caps until 2014-15.

Russian Machine Never Breaks transcribed his comments:

“We’re pretty confident he’ll be here next year,” McPhee said. “There’s a chance we could see him this season, but he’s under contract now. Maybe when his season ends in Russia (their season ends a lot earlier) we could see him.”

“… Hopefully we’ll see him sooner than later, but it won’t be in the early part of our season.”

McPhee said he understands Kuznetsov’s decision to take a lot of money and stay closer to home, even if he wasn’t pleased with the deal he signed after being drafted to play two more years by Traktor Chelyabinsk.

He also believes the 21-year-old’s been paid in a rather … interesting way.

“He’s 20-years-old, they gave him ten million dollars to play for two more seasons,” McPhee said. “It’s a 13-percent tax rate over there and even with that, most of the money is under the table.  It’s probably no tax.  He’s playing in his hometown. He grew up there. He’s the face of the league over there so I understand how that works.”

So far, this situation seems like a cautionary tale for teams gambling with “The Russian factor.”

Still, McPhee seems optimistic it will work out, although he’s worried expectations will continue to swell.

” … I don’t want to hype the kid too much, then it’s harder when he gets here, but I think he’s a real good player and when he gets here we’ll see what he can do for us,” McPhee said.

Perhaps he should have said if he gets here.

  1. sergeikremlin - Jul 11, 2013 at 12:26 AM

    No chance until after Sochi 2014. I truly believe the sole reason Kuznetsov signed another contract with Traktor to play in the KHL was in fear of falling out of favour with Russia Hockey and the political circle surrounding it. I think Kuznetsov, Zherdev, Radulov, Morozov, and possibly Mozyakin, will all be rewarded with spots on that team, where guys like Tarasenko and Yakupov may not get much consideration. Kuznetsov saw leaving for America as a real threat to his dream of playing for Russia, at home in the Olympics. That’s a once-in-a-lifetime shot.

    • 19to77 - Jul 11, 2013 at 1:18 AM

      Pffffhahahahaha. Right. They’re going to shoot themselves in the foot and enjoy another humiliating beatdown in the medal round in order to make the point to Yakupov and Tarasenko that they should have stayed home for a few years. Because that’s gonna go a long way to convincing them.

      • jaguar0413 - Jul 11, 2013 at 10:46 AM

        They did that at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. The Russian Federation forced clearly inferior players from the KHL over some NHL veterans. Ended up backfiring big time.

    • ravenscaps48 - Jul 11, 2013 at 9:13 AM

      I mean, wasn’t this the plan since he signed the contract for Traktor? We all knew this was going down this way, so stop acting like a bunch of butthurt little babies, Caps Fans. He’ll be here in March. Don’t worry

      • jpelle82 - Jul 11, 2013 at 9:27 AM

        i dont think it was the caps plan for him to sign another contract over there.

      • ravenscaps48 - Jul 11, 2013 at 1:25 PM

        I wasn’t referring to the first contract. The one he signed last year

      • jpelle82 - Jul 11, 2013 at 1:43 PM

        i know, thats why i said “another”. i dont think anyone wanted him to sign for another 2 years. thats 2 contracts in russia since he’s been drafted and 0 in north america. he couldve came over last year, played well and still played in the olympics, the olympics excuse is weak in my opinion…ovechkin and malkin played in 2006 two years after they were drafted and played in the nhl…kuznetsov could have had 2 seasons in the nhl too…why would that hinder him from playing? it didnt hurt geno or ov’s chances of playing for them at 20-21 years old.

  2. lsxphotog - Jul 11, 2013 at 8:12 AM

    If the Caps don’t find a way to match his salary after the currency conversion they won’t have anything to show from this pick. Russian Roulette at its finest.

  3. cdalton2690 - Jul 11, 2013 at 9:01 AM

    McPhee is starting with the excuses already for when this kid doesn’t want to play for the Caps. First it was he had to finish his KHL season, then his girlfriend was pregnant. Next was he was waiting till after the olympics. Now it is because he is getting paid under the table. This is why they should have traded this kid instead of Forsberg, he may never come over from Russia at this point, even if he does he is going to bring a lot of drama with him.

    • jpelle82 - Jul 11, 2013 at 9:13 AM

      he couldnt have traded him if he wanted to, no one wants to trade for the rights of a guy who may never show up.

  4. jaguar0413 - Jul 11, 2013 at 10:47 AM

    He will be in DC after the Olympics. Kuznetsov has consistently stated since last year that he was staying in Russia in order to up his chances of making the Olympic team. That was why he stayed after the last contract.

    • jpelle82 - Jul 11, 2013 at 11:04 AM

      and if the caps are sub .500 and sinking in the new division, you still think he comes in mid march and makes a difference with limited practices between games, no camp, no preseason, and no english? the guy didnt even want to come to rookie camp when he got drafted, and hasnt attended a single event since…what makes you think he wants to be thrown to the wolves and into the scrutiny/limelight that he’s gonna face over here for a fraction of the money he’s making in russia? i wouldnt be surprised to see him in washington by the beginning of 2014-2015 if they can get him some kind of financial incentive to come, but i would be very surprised to see him before that.

  5. rg3isvictory - Jul 17, 2013 at 11:04 AM

    The cautionary tale is that people would
    Rather stay in Russia because our country steal between 25-50% of our income!!!

  6. kaptaanamerica - Jul 11, 2013 at 6:42 AM

    Is she making “dates” with people for herself… maybe that explains the money…

  7. mathieug79 - Jul 11, 2013 at 7:30 AM

    Her best friend’s step-sister is a ….WHORE!

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