Photo credit: RIA Novosti, Vladimir Pesnya

R-Sport’s Alyona Shilova talked to Evgeny Kuznetsov about… you guessed it: heading to the NHL. Kuznetsov reveals that Washington has made an offer to him, but he has not responded.

Alyona Shilova: How do you feel? Is it possible to grow professionally here, in the KHL?

Evgeny Kuznetsov: Yes, that’s a very good level. Possibly our league will be on the same level as the NHL soon.

Alyona Shilova: During the playoffs you said you’ve made the decision regarding your future: you will stay for one more year… Has anything changed or you said it not to get asked this question for some time?

Evgeny Kuznetsov: I wanted people to leave me alone for some time. You get tired of that. April 30th [KHL qualifying offers deadline] will come. Traktor will have to make me an offer, and we’ll see then. There’s no talks about that yet. I can’t do anything yet, I can only think, dream and talk about it all the time with everybody.

Alyona Shilova: Are Capitals active trying to get you to come?

Evgeny Kuznetsov: It’s not like they call me every day. It’s pretty quiet. They’ve made an offer, a contract, and are waiting for my answer. I didn’t make any promises. We just talked. Now we all wait for the end of the season.

Alyona Shilova: But have you made a decision for yourself?

Evgeny Kuznetsov: Not that I’ve made decision… (pause) I feel differently every day. I’m still thinking.

Alyona Shilova: Have you talked to [Traktor’s head coach Valery] Belousov about it? He thinks you need to stay for one more year.

Evgeny Kuznetsov: We haven’t talked. We’ve decided to wait till the season is over.

Alyona Shilova: Is it important for you if Belousov will stay with Traktor or not? Will it affect the decision?

Evgeny Kuznetsov: Of course. If he stays, that’s a huge plus.

Alyona Shilova: Can you imagine yourself in another Russian club?

Evgeny Kuznetsov: I think everything’s possible. Everything will depend on me, on my wish, where I want to be.

  • Guestz

    CAPS were probably planning to dump Sasha to open up $$ for this kid (or do bonuses not hit the cap? whatev…) until he showed signs of life the last few weeks.

    either way, get that kid over here already dammit.

  • blondecai


  • blondecai


  • kuh-NOO-buhl

    Is anyone else having Varly flashbacks?

  • Guest

    the KHL is on the same level as the NHL?  I get that he wants to play in his home country, but he doesn’t have to be full of shit about it

  • Peter
  • GovtMinion

    “I think everything’s possible. Everything will depend on me, on my wish, where I want to be.”

    Which is all good and well, but it kind of seems like he’s developing that ‘me first’ attitude. Maybe it’s just the translation or something. If he’s trying to play KHL v. Caps against each other for money or something, I’m content with him staying in Russia- the last thing North American pro sports needs is another overpaid man-child.

  • Yv

    I hope he will watch NHL playoffs and will understand what’s the difference between NHL and KHL. Hes still undecided, so any additional info would be helpful. Might be Nikolishin, who knows him, Caps, Traktor and NHL,  will call him and repeat that to grow he needs to come here. Departure of Radulov and talks of his big signing with Preds. also should mean something to Kuzzy.

  • Chip

    It’s my understanding that they can only give him an entry level NHL contract which is less than 1 million, so no need to get rid of Sasha for that. 

  • Emily Casto

    such a tease 😉

  • Guest

    If you are trying to imply I’m biased I won’t deny that.  If you are trying to imply that KHL and NHL level of play are the same, the Russian National team that is overwhelmingly comprised of a bunch of NHL and ex NHL players would say otherwise.

    There is nothing wrong with this, it happens in every major international sport.  Argentina has good soccer clubs, but where does Messi play?  Talent goes where the money is.

  • Guest

     or if you were just trying to say he answered the question the way the interviewer asked it, as I think you were, then I’ll bite my tongue

  • Peter

    Yeah, I’m not accusing you of having a corrupting bias. I’m saying my pet theory all along has been that he says what it takes to shut people up. I think he has confirmed as much in this and previous interviews.

    But yeah, I think this is interviewer bias. He told KHL he’s staying; he told US media he’s leaving. Etc etc.

  •  I don’t see Kuznetsov stating that KHL and NHL are equals right now.  He does say it is *possible* for KHL to be “at the NHL level soon”.  I can’t really find a problem with that statement – it is sufficiently vague and diplomatic, especially for a teenager who is faced with an enviable task of deciding which pile of millions of dollars to accept.
    And speaking of soccer analogy – (and those damn Argies!) – for every Messi there is a Tevez or two… god forbid our prodigal prospect is even half a head case Carlito is! 🙂

  • What other than his wish is a deciding factor here?
    Is he obliged to play for the Capitals since they’ve drafted him? NO.
    Can he request a trade from Traktor is he doesn’t want to be there? YES.
    Ask any NHL free agent where he’ll play, and he’ll say “Where I want to play”. What’s wrong with it?

  • BrianfromBowie

    He’d look good in a #28 sweater

  • Luke

    all the Semin hate after he’s been playing so well lately!

  • He’d look good in any sweater as long as it has a Capitals logo on the front