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Report: Kuznetsov terminated KHL deal, headed to Washington

Mar 7, 2014, 9:07 AM EDT

kuznetsov2010getty Getty Images

The help the Washington Capitals have been waiting for since 2010 may finally be on the way.

According to Igor Eronko of Sports.ru and Dmitry Chesnokov of Yahoo! Sports, Capitals 2010 first-round pick Evgeny Kuznetsov has terminated his contract with his KHL team, Traktor Chelyabinsk, and is headed to Washington to join the Caps.

The Caps have been holding out hope Kuznetsov would join them since they took him 26th overall in 2010 believing he’d be a natural fit to play alongside Alex Ovechkin and Alexander Semin. Now with Semin in Carolina, Ovechkin is set up to be his mentor and having a three-time NHL MVP to be that can’t be all that bad.

As for Kuznetsov’s feelings on departing Chelyabinsk for the NHL, you could say it’s nature’s calling.

https://twitter.com/IgorEronko/status/441903624953036800

With the Capitals in a battle to make the postseason, if Kuznetsov can fit in right away and add some punch to the lineup, it’ll be a huge boost to a team that needs it.

This season for Traktor, Kuznetsov had eight goals and 21 points in 31 games. Caps fans may want to keep their expectations in check for the time being as he adjusts to the NHL.

  1. valoisvipers - Mar 7, 2014 at 9:10 AM

    What’s up with that picture?

    • cobra617 - Mar 7, 2014 at 9:33 AM

      He thought he was going to play for the Florida Panthers?

    • ibieiniid - Mar 7, 2014 at 9:49 AM

      when Putin says smile, you smile.

    • Joe Yerdon - Mar 7, 2014 at 9:55 AM

      That’s one of his draft portraits from draft day. Lots of players had very strange ones that year. Look up Kirill Kabanov’s for a real laugh.

      • patthehockeyfan - Mar 7, 2014 at 10:09 AM

        Kabanov’s has me hearing The Tonight Show’s opening theme song, and seeing Johnny Carson coming through the stage curtain.

        It looks as if these guys are showing off that they still have their original teeth. That won’t last long. Ask Ovechkin.

  2. ravenscaps48 - Mar 7, 2014 at 9:51 AM

    The Messiah….. he’s coming! And he’ll play left wing.

  3. ibieiniid - Mar 7, 2014 at 9:55 AM

    so much hype with this dude for the last 3 years, it’ll be tough to live up to that in DC. kinda like Joe Gibbs, Mike Shanahan, Gilbert Arenas, ::cough:: RG3, Cristian Guzman, etc. living here, the DC area overhypes a lot of players to their early exit from DC.

    • jpelle82 - Mar 7, 2014 at 10:51 AM

      its a shame. i honestly felt bad for people around here when the nationals didnt make the playoffs this past year…that was actually becoming something to get excited about.

  4. sebmono - Mar 7, 2014 at 10:01 AM

    Unfortunately, he is not a blueliner, which is where the Caps really need an improvement. As much as “the best defense is a good offense” may or may not apply, NHL is not a league where one guy, especially a rookie, can move the needle as much as the Caps require in order to make and move on in the playoffs.

  5. barkar942 - Mar 7, 2014 at 11:18 AM

    Another Russian sniper. Good thing he will have Ovie to teach him what defensive two-way play is here in the NHL.
    Good thing Erat isn’t there any more. He could be teaching him how to put it into the Caps net.

  6. capsfan14 - Mar 7, 2014 at 11:21 AM

    It’s not like they’re not already one of the best offensive teams in the NHL, so why not bring in another unexpirienced offensive tool as we close in on the playoffs? Great move McPhee….

    • jpelle82 - Mar 7, 2014 at 11:41 AM

      because they drafted him in the first place, he’s probably better than 10 of the 12 forwards currently suiting up, and if he’s ready and you dont bring him in you get even more backlash than if you did. even if he completely flops the caps can at least finally get an assessment on him and do what they need to do. this is like having a brand new convertible just sitting in your garage for 4 years…the sun’s finally come out and its time to drive….

      • capsfan14 - Mar 7, 2014 at 4:39 PM

        All I’m saying is they should be careful with this valued prospect. If you just throw him in there in the most critical part of the season, it could lead to some bad expiriences for him. Let him go to training camp with the rest of the guys, let him get some pre season games under his belt, and let him play in regular season games that don’t directly have a huge impact on the playoff seedings. He already has imense pressure, and that pressure to preform is multiplied now at this stage of the season.

    • c9castine - Mar 8, 2014 at 2:16 AM

      Jeez you sound as negative as some pens fans.

  7. patshal - Mar 7, 2014 at 1:03 PM

    He’s glad to go to Washington. Ovechkin will keep getting him goals. Anyone in the league wants to play with Crosby, Stamkos, or Ovechkin.

    • vm113 - Mar 7, 2014 at 1:36 PM

      Expect for Malkin. He looked real frustrated in the Olympics fighting hard for the puck doing the bulk of the work while Ovie stood there like a turd waiting for Malkin to pass him the puck.

      • patthehockeyfan - Mar 7, 2014 at 3:17 PM

        I’m not taking issue with your remarks about Malkin and the Olympics. To get another view of his experience, see the following article. PHT had the link in a story a while back.

        http://triblive.com/sports/penguins/5660812-74/malkin-olympics-nhl#axzz2uOfJsEZP

  8. mitchem85 - Mar 7, 2014 at 1:48 PM

    Iibieniid, you lost al credibility to your claim when you started out by naming 3x Super Bowl winning coach Joe Gibbs. The only coach to ever win three SBs with three different qb’s. FOH, clown!

    • ibieiniid - Mar 7, 2014 at 2:08 PM

      oh yeah? how’d he do with the Skins?

    • ibieiniid - Mar 7, 2014 at 3:52 PM

      oh…. my mistake. i was referring to the 2nd time. when the hype was about him coming BACK. no arguments on my other FOUR examples that took me seconds to come up with.

  9. cdalton2690 - Mar 7, 2014 at 2:17 PM

    This kid has a lot of hype to live up too. Some of which he put on himself by constantly changing his mind about when he was coming to the NHL. However he doesn’t play defense, he is a sniper and apparently a good one. They had a similar player in Alex Semin and we see how he turned out. Until the caps get bigger and more physical on the blue line this team is going no where. Alzner, Carlson, and Orlov are the only ones worth keeping. The rest can go away and rebuild. Until they do that this team will have the same success they have been having, with first or second round playoff exits (if they get that far this year).

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