The NHL has announced that Evgeny Kuznetsov will be suspended for three games for “inappropriate conduct.” Kuznetsov will not appeal the decision. The IIHF suspended Kuznetsov from international play for four years after testing positive for cocaine. The suspension will keep Kuzy out of the World Championships and Olympics until he’s 31.
Monday, Kuznetsov met with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. Kuznetsov has not spoken publicly about the failed drug test beyond in a press release issued by the Capitals.
NEW YORK (Sept. 14, 2019) – The National Hockey League announced today that Washington Capitals forward Evgeny Kuznetsov has been suspended, without pay, for three regular-season games for inappropriate conduct. The Commissioner’s determination came following an in-person meeting in New York on Monday, Sept. 9 with Kuznetsov and NHLPA representatives.
Kuznetsov has informed the League through the NHLPA that he will not be appealing his suspension. The League will have no further comment.
“I feel absolutely terrible for letting you down,” Kuznetsov said then. “I realize that the only way I can win you back is to take ownership of my situation and my actions from this point forward.”
The NHL announced that Kuznetsov had “voluntarily sought help through the education and counseling program provided for in the NHL and NHLPA collective bargaining agreement” that includes regular drug testing. It also included a meeting with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman to review his conduct.
In June, a Russian Twitter user uploaded a video of Kuznetsov by lines of a white powdery substance. Kuznetsov denied using drugs, but in late August, the IIHF announced his positive drug test. Kuznetsov deleted all of his photos and videos off Instagram. He’s spent much of the summer in Arlington after his wife gave birth to the couple’s second child, Fedor.
“He’s been here pretty much the whole summer,” TJ Oshie said. “I have seen him training. To me, he looks better than I have ever seen him. I always expect big things out of him and I am expecting bigger things this year.”
“I think he’s aware that it’s a big mistake in his mind, and he’s remorseful,” general manager Brian MacLellan added.
The Capitals have all united behind Kuznetsov in support.
“His mind is where he should [be] Training Camp,” Nicklas Backstrom said. “I mean, very unfortunate what happened, but at the same time, for us as friends, I think it’s really important that we support him no matter what. We’re going to fight this together, as a family.”
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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