Evgeny Kuznetsov scores the shootout game-winner. (Photo: Metallurg Novokuznetsk)

Last Wednesday, Washington Capitals prospect Evgeny Kuznetsov made a lot of Caps fans happy when he tweeted out his US visa application form. After three years of waiting, it seems Kuznetsov is finally ready to come to the NHL.

Caps fans, however, may have been the only ones happy about the tweet. A half an hour after publishing the photo, Kuznetsov deleted the tweet. We do not know why he took it down. It’s possible Traktor’s management and coaching staff had issues with their best player announcing his imminent departure while his team is still playing.

Over the weekend, Kuzya told Sport-42.ru that his comments about coming to America have caused backlash. He also assured fans that he would give it his all during Traktor’s hunt for the playoffs.

And now a question that has probably tired you already…
I can answer it without listening. Let’s wait until the end of the season. We’ll see then. I’ve said a lot, and it has cost me dearly.

So the question of you leaving hasn’t been decided?
I’ve decided everything in my head, but while I’m here I’m fighting for a playoff spot, and when I said what I have decided, I was reproached for not wanting to battle or play. But it’s just little things, that’s why I tell you, let’s put it off. For now we need to battle and grind for every point, I still want to play in the postseason and achieve something this year.

The translated portion starts at 1:30.

The interview was conducted after a game in which Kuznetsov was benched for almost the entire second half. Though coach Valery Belousov said he was limiting minutes for a player who had just returned from injury, the timing was suspicious. To Belousov’s credit, he put Kuznetsov on the ice in overtime, and the young forward responded by creating a scoring chance and then winning the game in the shootout.

With just five games left on Traktor’s regular season schedule, they’re currently eighth in the Eastern Conference with 69 points over 49 games — just one point ahead of ninth-place Admiral with a game in hand. A lot will be decided when the two teams meet face-to-face on Wednesday.

  • Chris Cerullo

    I really get the feeling that he is so very much done with Traktor. He has done enough for the team and its fans and it sucks to see them treat him like this. He just needs to come to DC and I hope we give him an awesome welcome.

  • Shawn Murphy

    A suspicious and seemingly capricious benching? Is this Russia or the Maple Leafs? OHHHHH
    /shows self out

  • Barrett

    Do people even go to the KHL games…? There is one person, possibly a Russian Sasquatch or distant relative of Chewbacca, sitting in the first two rows of seats in the still image above. More people show up to the youth hockey league games.

  • This might have had something to do with Kuznetsov’s benching too. lolz Pretty sure Adam Oates would run onto the ice and choke him if he did something like this in a Caps jersey. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xrR9q1mdOnQ&sns=em

  • Zank

    Are you kidding me? DC sports fans a fickle. Chances are if he comes here and struggles with the N.A. game immediately, the fans will be all over him.

  • “the fans will be all over him”

    Oh no. Angry tweets and Facebook comments. Run for the hills.

  • Fedor

    1. It’s Novokuznetsk aka middle of nowhere. There are like five people in the whole city 😉
    2. The seats are kinda bad. When the arena is far from full, staff allows people to take better seats and that’s why those seats will be the last filling.

  • Barrett

    Thanks for the explanation!

  • beny485

    He will be here by next winter classic

  • beny485

    Any ideas what we are going to wear

  • Owen Johnson

    I’ll give him a year to settle in. Overall DC sports fans don’t get on their own players. Unless youre mike green after taking 3 penalties in the 1st period

  • Owen Johnson
  • Ash

    The real question is if Grabo and his family will still be in residence with Ovi when Kuz finally shows, because you have to assume Grabo currently has squatter’s rights on Ovi’s spare bedroom(s).

    And for the record, I would watch the HELL out of a reality show that was basically Ovi, Grabo, and Kuz living in the same house and the resulting hijinks. Hell, let Dima move in too.

  • Chris Cerullo

    This isn’t the Washington Redskins

  • Yo8

    OMG! I hate you so much right now because you stole my idea! I vote for the reality show hahaha!

  • Michael Woolford

    It’s getting close though.

  • Michael Woolford

    If Traktor doesn’t make the playoffs, anyone have a best guess when we will see Kuz at Verizon?

  • Mid-March.

  • Sergey Popov

    Hmm. There’s over half of a million people in Novokuznetsk. People just don’t go to hockey games

  • Fedor

    Half of a million would be by far the smallest metro in the NHL. Much smaller than Winnipeg, Nashville or Raleigh metros. So for pro hockey, it’s not a lot. There are bigger markets in the ECHL.

    Also, I live in a 15 milion city (where no one goes to hockey games too though), so 500k IS the middle of nowhere for me.

  • Stardawg

    Winnipeg is only 700K, but its Canada and we love hockey.

  • madflava76

    So does this mean if Traktor fails to make the playoffs, then Kuznetsov could join the Capitals after the regular season ends?

  • Sergey Popov

    where no one goes to hockey games too though. There we go. I still think that’s the main reason