On Thursday, Traktor Chelyabinsk released a long interview with Washington Capitals prospect Evgeny Kuznetsov. It covers a wide range of topics. It’s essentially a goodbye from the club.

Kuznetsov speaks about his impending to move to the NHL, saying, “I don’t think it’s a secret for anybody.” He also says that he and his wife will live with Alex Ovechkin when they arrive in Washington. It also appears that Traktor’s final home game on March 4th (next Tuesday) is going to have special significance. Kuznetsov says he is inviting all of his friends to the game and half-jokingly asks to be captain just for that night — saying it would be a dream come true.

With Kuznetsov making such a big deal out of the team’s final regular season game in Chelyabinsk, it also seems to indicate that he may have a deal of some sort to skip the Nadezhda Cup, the KHL’s “loser” tournament for teams that don’t make the playoffs.

Igor Kleyner has a partial translation of the article.

Has the decision to move overseas already been made?

Evgeny Kuznetsov: Yes, I don’t think it’s a secret for anybody. The 4th game of this homestand will be one of my last games here. I want to invite all my friends – I think there will be around 200 people (laughing). I also hope they will trust me with a captain’s armband at least for one game, so that my dream would finally come true. Maybe I’ll ask the coach or Dima Ryabykin for it. Maybe the fans will do something special for me, because I think I have done something for them. And please understand, I am not talking about hockey right now. I have never refused an autograph or to take a picture with anybody. It will be a very difficult game for me.

So neither the daily routine difficulties, nor language barrier concern you?

EK: As far as the language – that just comes and goes. The language is not going to be a problem for me. My wife will be there, our parents will visit, the friends. I think I will only have difficulties the first few days, because I don’t know anybody on the team, except a few guys. Other than that, I already talked to Sasha Ovechkin, he said he is going to help me out, we’ll live at his place at first, all the little details have been discussed.

What about your English? Have you been studying?

EK: No, but I can interact a little. I think I will learn much faster when I have to speak the language, rather than here. When everybody around you is Russian – it’s difficult to learn English.

Tagged with:
  • Mark Chaffer


  • Freedoooom

    I want my damn jersey, but no one asks him if he is going back to 92.

  • ChrisN

    When will Dima move in with ovi , grabo and kuzya?

  • Big Chuck

    “Ovies house best)))))))))) jajajajajaja))))”

  • Clint Petty

    Grabo is Belarussian, so I’m not sure if he can really be part of “Club Russia”

  • He and his wife already live with Ovi.

  • Rhino40

    Is Kuzya teasing us again? Nobody but Kuzya knows for sure. I for one will believe he is here when I see him ….
    With my own eyes…
    Practicing with the team…
    At Kettler

  • Patrick Neimeyer

    How many families does Ovi have living with him now. I mean Mclean,Virginia but it is turning into a Russian Hostel. Hope they have enough bathrooms and vodka…

  • Jack Conness

    Lets unload this team and build for next year. Kuzya, Ovi, Backstrom, Burakovsky, Barber, picks, prospects, you name it. Lets do it.

  • I believe he’s stated in the past that he will not be #92, I feel sorry for whomever actually bought customized Kuznetsov jerseys. I saw one a few years ago.

  • Patrick Neimeyer

    Oh no not nicky!

  • Clint Petty

    Well then damn, if it’s open to anyone, then I wanna move in too!

  • ChrisN

    Haha its a party at ovi’s but the guests never leave. time to buy a mini van

  • Clint Petty

    Peter and Ian: I have a business idea for you guys but I demand at least 10% royalties from all sales:

    Kuzya koozies. Boom.

    I expect a quarterly payment by check. Pleasure doing business!

  • The team posted this article. Really, this is the end. Our long national nightmare is over.

  • I agree. This team really needs a partial re-build to get to the next level. They have some really, really good pieces.

  • Oh man, you get credit for actually posting it here, but Peter talked about doing this last year with me. If we make them, I’ll at the very least mail you one.

  • I think he’ll wear that #92 he wore at Development Camp at first (as a rookie number) and then choose a new one later.

  • JessHughes

    As for Kuzya, I will believe it when he is sharing Instagrams with Ovi. Also, off topic, but did Katie Carrera really tweet that BL21 is on the 1st line?! Does Adam Oates want to get invited to “Dancing on the Stars” or something?

  • Wait… so… when is he coming?

  • Clint Petty

    Awesome, I’ll take it!

    I figured you guys would have thought of that one. It pretty much writes itself. You guys would more likely have the resources and audience to make something like that a potentially worthwhile endeavor.

  • Time will tell, I bet he won’t.

  • Josh Carey

    Brooks will start on the first line. Odds are he wont stay there past this game. MJ90 is going to be jetlagged like crazy. He’ll essentially be playing this game at 4 am or so for him. You certainly don’t want Brooks with Brouwer, so with MJ90 on the fourth line due to travel, I like this lineup over anything else. Well, the fact that Ersk is playing over Broulliette(sp?) isn’t good.

  • RV

    Grabo actually moved. They live in another McLean neighborhood now. See them at near the Chesterbrook starbucks sometimes.

  • Traktor’s last game of the season is next Tuesday. If they make the playoffs, he shall stay until their playoff run concludes. If they don’t make the post-season, Traktor will play in the Nadezhda Cup, a tournament for non-playoff teams. Going off the tone of this interview, he may have a deal in place with Traktor to leave and not play in that. So next week, we will know a lot more.

  • MULTIPLE YEARS AGO. I’ve wanted Kuzya Koozies since 2011!

  • VirginiaPatriot

    Last rebuild in 05 (?) has lost all of its gas. Great pieces still in place. You wouldn’t consider CARLZNER as “hold ons”? Seems like for defensemen (in general) they should be hitting their prime. Maybe not first pair for the future, but helluva second pairing.

  • Myan

    Ovi, Kirilenko, Grabo & Family, and now Kuyza & Family…what an athletically fit household.

    Does Dima live with him too?

  • Yo8

    Now, this will be worth of a reality show instead of a bunch useless bitches that got caught having sex and now they are famous with their d-bags boyfriends.

  • Igor Kleyner

    User comments on Traktor’s website (*heavily moderated*): very positive and approving, even a bit of poetry.
    On other sites, with presumably more liberal commenting policies – not so much. Quite a lot of bitterness/sarcasm from the fans. Somewhat understandable – Traktor is still very much in the playoff picture, controlling their own fate – if they win the rest of their games they are in. Questionable move by the team to publish this interview at this time – if I were a fan, I’d be pissed

  • Chris Cerullo

    When did they learn spanish?

  • William


  • ATPinDC

    Interesting perspective. Thank you. It is rather odd of Traktor to put this out there.

    Kuzya seems to get himself in a fair amount of trouble in the media with his mouth, no? I wonder if he’ll bring that “talent” over here (once he learns the language, of course).

  • Hockey mom

    And I THINK Erat rents Ovie’s old house. This is too funny!!

  • Igor Kleyner

    We’ll gladly help him utilize the aforementioned talent even before he has proper command of English. 🙂

  • ATPinDC

    You do a stellar job as it is, I look forward to that continuing! 🙂

  • Alex

    I just realized that Traktor’s regular season ends the day before the NHL trade deadline. Perhaps McPhee will wait to make moves until after he knows where Kuzya will be for the Caps’ home stretch…

  • Igor Kleyner

    So… when is he coming?

  • Nick

    Only took 3 years, right? I’m banking on the ‘good things come to those who wait’ deal.

  • yv

    Ovi hates to be alone! DC Moscovite Ovi’s side business – real estate and Transition House for Russian-speaking expats. How Kuzya will learn English in packed Ovi’s house that’s a question!?

  • Almost four! He made his first appearance at Kettler August 2010

  • criegel

    Keep carlson and orlov, get rid of everyone else

  • Jake Ettawakapow

    I want him to wear 92. But knowing that Wilson and Burakovsky’s numbers were #10 and #95, they’ll be sticking to their development numbers, Kuznetsov will probably be wearing 48 in his rookie season, he’ll probably switch the number after that season. Seen couple players do it.

  • Jake Ettawakapow

    If Galiev some how makes the team, SOMEHOW, he’ll be wearing 49, wore it in the preseason, he wears 97 in his junior years. Our prospects love these 90s numbers lol

  • Myan

    Oh god, please be good, Kuyza.

  • I will eat my trousers if Galiev makes the team

  • Diller M

    In addition to those mentioned, Alzner is on a sweet deal, keep him and Carly and probably Mojo and 1 goalie. Other than that, have at thee!

  • Diller M

    What happened to Galiev? He seemed Legit in juniors, and has just fallen apart. Any thoughts?

  • Igor Kleyner

    If it happens, Ian will make a t-shirt. Not with Galiev, the one with Peter eating his trousers. #InstantBestseller

  • Кулёк Кулёкович

    Ovi’s Castle

  • I’m pretty sure he will not be wearing 48 because that’s Casey Wellman’s number.

  • I was never surprised he flamed out and it’s not really his fault either. More the league (QMJHL) he graduated from. Galiev, offensively, was and still is, very, very talented. But he did not back-check at all in juniors and did not play anything remotely resembling a system in the offensive zone. If you watched one of his games, you would see it immediately. He wouldn’t go to the boards, he’d curl and let others take care of things, lazily skate back when the puck went the other way. That’s a staple for most offensive players in the Q. It’s been a long road for him to understand the defensive side of the game, but he may be that type of player who is a late bloomer, and gets a chance at the NHL, later in his career. He has NHL hands and an NHL shot.

  • Jake Ettawakapow

    Oh man. Forgot about that. What do you think he’ll wear?

  • David McCaig

    He was drafted in 2010. Why has it taken him so long to make it into the league? Plus, he’s Russian, and we know how well they perform under pressure. I wouldn’t get my hopes up too much.