Graphic by Ian Oland.
We have sad news to report out of Russia today. We can no longer refer to Evgeny Kuznetsov as EK92 because the 2010 Washington Capitals first-round pick has decided to change his jersey number to 84, per Traktor Chelyabinsk’s official website. Traktor has not provided any reasoning behind the decision.
Kuznetsov has always worn #92 with Traktor Chelyabinsk and Russia’s national team. On the junior national team, he wore #25.
The number switch isn’t necessarily a surprise. In December 2011, Kuznetsov told Sovetsky Sport’s Pavel Lysenkov that he wouldn’t be wearing #92 or any of his previous numbers in the NHL.
As per my translation from two years ago, Kuznetsov said:
When The MHL’s White Bears started, they made the sweaters for us. Almost all of numbers were gone. The only ones left were numbers 90, 91 and 92. So some other guys who were a bit older took the other ones, and I got this one.
For Sbornaya, I wore 25 and 7. I also had 17. If I go to the NHL, I will take a different number. Which one? I am not telling you!
For those of you who have already dropped $200 for your #92 Kuznetsov Caps jerseys, you are probably feeling a bit jaded and angry right now. Just furiously jab this button for a few minutes and I promise it’ll make you feel better.