Evgeny Kuznetsov and Ilya Samsonov appear to be in some major hot water with the team.
A day after the Capitals suspended Kuznetsov and Samsonov for disciplinary reasons — the team said they were late to a team function — Peter Laviolette indicated the players may not be allowed to suit up Wednesday night against the Rangers either.
Laviolette made the comments after the team’s optional practice on Tuesday.
“Right now, we’re working through things inside the room,” Laviolette said according to NHL.com’s Tom Gulitti.
Laviolette was asked the night before if Kuzy and Sammy’s suspension was only for one game. He replied then, “ask that question again tomorrow.”
He added, “We’ve got to work together inside here. There’s gotta be rules. There’s gotta be boundaries. We got expectations set and you need to be accountable to that.”
Kuznetsov and Samsonov have had their fair share of public controversies over the last two years. Kuznetsov was suspended three games by the NHL in September 2019 for “inappropriate conduct”. He also received a four-year suspension from the IIHF for failing a drug test. Samsonov missed the 2020 bubble playoffs after reportedly injuring himself in an ATV accident. The two players then ignored NHL COVID-19 protocols early during the 2020-21 season. Both players contracted COVID-19 after playing video games and watching UFC fights maskless in the same hotel room along with Alex Ovechkin and Dmitry Orlov. All four players missed games. Samsonov missed over a month of NHL time and lost his full-time starting goaltending position to rookie Vitek Vanecek in the process. The Capitals were fined $100,000 as a team.
During Monday’s 6-3 victory over the Rangers, the Capitals opted to not dress Kuzy despite being capped out and being unable to call up a forward to replace him. Sammy was replaced by Craig Anderson in the lineup and the 39-year-old veteran served as backup to Vitek Vanecek.
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