Evgeny Kuznetsov was suspended for disciplinary reasons by the Capitals during the 2020-21 regular season, part of some rule-breaking that caused Washington to be fined $100k, and contracted coronavirus twice. Those antics, combined with his struggles to return to his previous form in 2018, resulted in reports in May that the Capitals were looking to deal Kuzy over the offseason.
“I think we’re always open to trading people if it makes sense for what’s going on if it makes our team better,” Capitals GM Brian MacLellan said after the season. “I don’t think anybody’s off the table. We’re not going to trade Ovi or Backy, those types of people, but you have to be open on anything. So we would talk to anybody about any player.”
During an appearance on TSN1260’s Jason Gregor Show, Frank Seravalli of The Daily Faceoff reported that the New York Rangers, who are aggressively remaking their team under new GM Chris Drury, had shown interest in acquiring Kuznetsov as well as fellow star center Jack Eichel.
But Seravalli hedged that a Caps-Rangers deal wasn’t close, surmising that there hasn’t been “a ton” of interest in general on Kuznetsov.