Evgeny Kuznetsov has shut down the rumors coming out of his motherland about his supposed desire to leave the Washington Capitals via a trade.
“You know how it is. It’s just people trying to put some whatever they want to get the likes on Instagram or tweet or whatever, Evgeny Kuznetsov said, per Tom Gulitti of NHL.com. “I spoke to those people, and I said, ‘Where is this coming from?’ So …. at this point, there is nothing to even talk about,” Kuznetsov added.
However, trade rumors involving Evgeny Kuznetsov aren't particularly new, especially this season. It's been a tough campaign so far for Kuznetsov and the Capitals. From an individual standpoint, the 2022-23 NHL season has been a big letdown for Kuznetsov, who only has 12 goals and 41 assists through 73 games played. He also carries an ugly plus/minus of -19, easily the worst of his career in the NHL.
The 30-year-old Kuznetsov was among those expected to help out Alex Ovechkin carry Washington's offense heading into this season but instead has spent most of the NHL calendar year battling inconsistency.
Evgeny Kuznetsov will still have two years left on his current contract after the 2022-23 NHL season, with those remaining seasons carrying the biggest cap hits of the eight-year $62.4 million deal he signed with the Capitals in 2019. He is set to earn $6 million in each of the next two seasons.
With the Capitals likely to miss the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the team might begin looking at their roster again, thinking of major changes they could make to spur a strong rebound in 2023-24.
Kuznetsov was selected by the Capitals in the first round (26th overall) of the 2010 NHL Draft. He would make his league debut three years later, playing in the 2013-14 campaign and coming away with three goals and six assists in 17 games. He would become a regular on the Caps roster beginning the following season when he appeared in 80 games and scored 11 goals with 26 assists.
Whichever way Kuznetsov's stint with the Capitals end, he will always be remembered by Washington fans for that memorable game-winning goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins back in the second round of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs.