Evgeny Kuznetsov denied on a breakaway by Dynamo’s Alexander Yeremenko during the Gagarin Cup Finals (Photo credit: R-Sport)

Sport-Express is reporting a potential trade between Dynamo Moscow and Traktor Chelyabinsk involving Evgeny Kuznetsov, one of the KHL’s brightest stars and a prominent Caps prospect. According to one of  Russia’s most popular sports publications, Kuznetsov may follow two other young forwards, Valery Nichushkin and Maxim Karpov, who have already been traded from Chelyabinsk to Moscow.

From Sports-Express:

After Valery Nichushkin and Maxim Karpov, another Traktor player may move to Dynamo: Evgeny Kuznetsov. According to [Sport-Express’] information, blue-and-whites [Dynamo] have started talks with Traktor about buying the rights and contract of the 2012 World Champion and 2011 World Junior Champion. Kuznetsov is currently with the Russian national team at the World Championships, but hasn’t been placed on the finalized roster yet.

If this rumor is true, Traktor is in a state of upheaval, and it’s possible Evgeny Kuznetsov may be headed to Washington sooner than planned– or not at all.

This would be a curious twist in Kuznetsov’s career. As a hometown favorite in Chelyabinsk, it seemed unlikely that Traktor would trade him away. But after selling Nichushkin and Karpov and not retaining the services of Deron Quint, it’s apparent that Traktor is shaking things up. It’s not quite a fire sale yet, but it may be one soon. As Sports.ru blogger Igor Eronko put it, Dynamo Moscow is in talks to acquire basically all of Traktor Chelyabinsk.

If Kuznetsov does get traded, his contract with Traktor (with one year remaining) will become inactive, and Kuznetsov will be obligated to sign with Dynamo on the same terms. If he does not sign, his rights in the KHL/VHL/MHL system will be held by Dynamo organization, and he’ll be considered a “conflict” player (KHL Legal Regulations, chapter 5, article 35, paragraph 5 and chapter 3, article 11, paragraph 1).

That means Kuznetsov might be able to sign with the Capitals this year. Situations like this have happened before. Last year, Metallurg Magnitogorsk traded Juhamatti Aaltonen to Traktor. Aaltonen then refused to sign with his new club and was assigned “conflict” status. He played the season in the Swedish Elitserien with Rogle BK. On the other hand, the KHL-NHL’s “Memorandum of Understanding” is not entirely clear on how this situation might resolve.

As you might remember, Dynamo advisor Alex Ovechkin (who moonlights as a hockey player) has publicly said that Kuznetsov made the wrong decision in staying in Russia for two more years.

  • Oh em gee.

    Yes. He seems loyal to Traktor, hopefully he’ll put his ego aside and jump in with the Bears a la BFF Orlov.

  • OK, how do you go from reporting a freaking space rock hitting Chelyabinsk to misspelling the city’s name? Oh, how the mighty have fallen!.. Pun intended.


  • He’s not on the World Championships roster yet, but I would rule him out for THIS season. I don’t think he’ll ever play for the Hershey Bears too, honestly.

  • I don’t either. From previous interviews, it always sounded (to me) like the AHL was beneath him.

  • ChaseBH

    Is this a problem? Doesn’t Moscow have much deeper pockets and could they lure him to stay longer?

  • Peter

    *walks away, whistling conspicuously*

  • Peter

    Yes they do, but Evgeny wouldn’t be a hometown boy there. Without the local connections of Chelyabinsk, he might be more inclined to move to DC.

  • I think ChelyaBINK is where Oleksy is from

  • yv

    He is and will play tomorrow against Latvia.

  • yv

    This is good opportunity for Capitals to jump in and snatch Kuzzya from his contract if it is true. According to some hockey news media, Capitals will meet with Kuzzya in Helsinki during ongoing Worlds. That was a very bad idea by Kuznetsov of signing a 2-year contract without 1-year clause out, like more smarter agent Gundler (the one who also work for A. Semin) got for the younger Kuzzya teammate Nichushkin. The rights for Nichushkin reportedly costs Dynamo 10M$, you can expect that for Kuznetsov it would be double of this. If both of them will jump to NHL, then Dynamo will be left with only very expensive rights on them in KHL. Maybe Traktor owners know/suspect about such intentions and simply want to get big money instead of nothing.

  • yv

    some correction, Kuzzya was in white jersey during today’ practice, which seemingly means that he officially not yet in the national team roster for the game.

  • OlietheGoalie

    I don’t think he’ll ever see the Bears – he’ll move straight to DC.

    That being said, Dynamo feels like an unofficial farm team for the Caps lately.

  • I wonder if Ovie’s improvement under Oates this year will influence Kuznetsov that long-term success is possible with the Caps whereas he might have been scared off earlier thinking that he’d be playing in Hunter’s system.

  • <-is too used to seeing reports of kuzya "maybe coming soon" :-/

  • Frankly, it is.

  • Yeah and he’s getting a ton of bad press in Russia. If he’s traded, this could be a great opportunity for him to get out of there and start anew.

  • Dark Stranger

    It’s a rather sad situation for Traktor Chelyabinsk in general. Seems like the rich teams in the KHL (Dynamo, SKA, CSKA) are acquiring players from the other teams. Almost as if they are virtual farm teams of the “rich” team. Dynamo acquires Kuzya, not to mention Nichuskin and Karpov, who were key players for Traktor. Meanwhile, in other KHL transactions, near the end of this past season but prior to the playoffs, SKA acquired Mikhail Varnakov, the best player for Nizhny Novgorod Torpedo for (get this) only a 2nd round pick. Granted, Varnakov was due to become a free agent but he grew up in Nizhny Novgorod. That’s the equivalent of the Nats trading Ryan Zimmerman for a B grade minor league prospect.

  • serpent

    Igor! you been hanging with Puck Buddys? That was funny!

  • Huh? Put him on the Bears?

    I’d rather stack the Caps line up… Kuznetsov on the third line could be an added threat or maybe he has more chemistry with Ribeiro and put Erat on the third line.

  • I don’t think so scooter.

    The AHL is a proving grounds. Look at all the current players on our roster who won a Calder cup in chocolate town.

  • yv

    update, GM of Dynamo Safronov denied that there have been any talks about Kuznetsov rights, saying that he is Traktor player and we didn’t even interested about him