Photo credit: @konstantinu74
Team Russia announced its Olympic roster today, and– to no one’s surprise– Evgeny Kuznetsov’s name is not on the list of 22 skaters who will fight for gold in Sochi next month. That’s an unfortunate twist for a young player who, two years ago, delayed his jump to the NHL in order to improve his chances of making of making the Sbornaya. The omission is not even controversial, as Kuzya has had a nightmare season, including a slew of injuries and below-par play when healthy.
But fear not, the few and proud members of the Kuzya fan club. While your hero’s hockey career has taken a very circuitous path, Zhenya has been testing the waters in an alternative occupation while recovering from his latest injury. No, not driving a bulldozer, dabbling in real estate market, head-butting a sitcom character, or torturing an imaginary microphone with his interpretation of an old pop song. Kuzya is trying out a new hobby that’s a bit less exotic: TV hockey analyst. Last Sunday, Evgeny acted as color commentator for Chelyabinsk local channel OTV’s broadcast team during the 2nd and 3rd periods of Traktor’s game against the visiting Slovan of Bratislava. Kuznetsov shared with the TV audience a few bits of hockey wisdom and insider information from the team’s locker room. During intermission, Kuzya provided expert analysis of his team’s performance (“What did I like? That we scored two goals and did not allow any.”… “Who has been the standout so far? Our goalie and the defense. And all of our forwards.”) and made a prediction for the final period.
All in all, a commendable debut, especially considering that Kuzya is still on crutches while recovering from his latest lower body misfortune. Caps fans can surely look forward to Zhenya teaming up with Joe B and Locker in about 15 years or so – unless, of course, he sticks to the original retirement plan which includes a yacht and moving to Switzerland.