The Capitals are not pleased with first-line center Evgeny Kuznetsov, according to TSN insider Pierre LeBrun.
Tuesday, during TSN’s Insider Trading, LeBrun reported that the Capitals may trade Kuznetsov over the offseason after tiring of his act.
“What I’m hearing is that it’s starting to, at some level, irritate some members of the Caps’ organization,” LeBrun said. “As far as I believe, Washington is perhaps willing to listen to trade offers for Kuznetsov this offseason. He’s got four more years on his contract at a $7.8 million AAV and a modified no-trade clause, but he’s still a pretty good player.”
“We’ve got to work together inside here,” Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette said. “There’s gotta be rules. There’s gotta be boundaries. We got expectations set and you need to be accountable to that.”
Since winning the Stanley Cup in 2018 and leading the NHL in playoff points, Kuznetsov has struggled with consistency on the ice and has been mired in several controversies off of it. Kuznetsov was suspended three games by the NHL in September 2019 for “inappropriate conduct”. He received a four-year suspension from the IIHF for failing a drug test. This season, Kuznetsov ignored NHL COVID-19 protocols during the Capitals’ first road trip of the 2020-21 season after playing video games and watching UFC fights maskless in the same hotel room with Ilya Samsonov, Alex Ovechkin, and Dmitry Orlov. Kuznetsov and Samsonov contracted COVID-19 and missed a chunk of the season. The Capitals were fined $100,000 as a team by the NHL.
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman also reported Tuesday that he thinks the Capitals are “running out of patience” with the Russian center.
Where there’s smoke there’s fire and there’s an awful lot of smoke here.
Headline photo: Elizabeth Kong/RMNB
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