This just in: Caps prospect Evgeny Kuznetsov has been released from his KHL contract with Traktor Chelyabinsk. This is another hurdle cleared on his path to Washington.

The Caps have a policy of not discussing players currently under contract to other teams. That no longer applies here. What happens next will be interesting.

The news comes directly from the KHL’s Facebook page.

The contract of forward Evgeny Kuznetsov and Traktor has been terminated. The termination was caused by the player. The agreement with the player was supposed to expire on April 30th, 2014. Kuznetsov has played his whole professional career for hometown Traktor, playing in 251 KHL games, in which he scored 157 points (78 goals, 89 assists).

The release came less than an hour before the KHL’s deadline for a player-initiated contract termination.

The player-initiated termination implies payment of the compensation to the club — 2/3 of the remainder of the contract. However, KHL legal regulations include a clause that allows club not to exercise their right for compensation.

In that case, the main benefit the club gets from a player terminating his contract (instead of doing it by mutual agreement) is the ability to retain the rights for the player in the future. Even if a club doesn’t think a player will return to Russia, it could be a valuable trade chip: Metallurg Novokuznetsk dealt the rights to Dmitry Orlov, Ivan Telegin, and Sergei Bobrovsky; Sibir Novosibirsk traded away, but later acquired back rights for Vladimir Tarasenko.

Additional reporting by Igor Kleyner and Fedor Fedin.

  • Chris Wilkins

    Good News!!!!!

  • rmnbguest

    says that the contract will expire april 30? what does that mean for him playing for the caps?

  • Joshua Vachon

    Time to talk GMGM…what’s the plan?

  • Josh Carey

    Recent days:
    “I can’t discuss a player under contract in another league” – GMGM

    Your excuse is gone GMGM, speak up.

  • Ash



  • William


  • Alex Hughes

    So when is he gonna play? Next Friday vs Vancouver?

  • Guest


  • Alex

    It was originally scheduled to expire April 30th, much like how NHL contracts are scheduled to expire July 1st. This article states that the contract was terminated early (today) so that he could be free to sign with the Caps right now and begin playing right away.

  • Alex

    Sometime next week, I imagine.

  • Alex

    He will, just be patient.

  • Hockey mom

    I’m reserving the right to remain un-excited about this. I’m still reeling in the disappointment that has been unfolding over the last few months…and am not sure that I can take much more…

  • Derek Wass

    to the best of my knowledge that means the contract was scheduled to expire then

  • Alex Hughes

    So who sits when he gets into the lineup?

  • Guest


  • Alex Hughes

    He doesn’t play though, I’m talking about someone in the staring lineup

  • Evgeni James Goldlust

    Found him. Get it. Cause net is off.

  • Igor Kleyner

    This reminds me – two years ago I wasted a couple of perfectly good hours of my life to write this – http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/2012/03/20/the-khls-rfa-rules-and-how-they-impact-evgeny-kuznetsov/
    So if anybody cares to understand the distinction between a player voiding his KHL contract unilaterally vs doing so per mutual agreement with the team – knock yourself out.

  • yv

    Why he so unhappy about this on the photo?!

    Interesting to see what contract he will sign. Still 3-year ELC or 2 year as a 22-yr old. In latter case, if he will play right now 10 regular season games will he burn his 1st-year rookie contract and only 1 year will be left before he will become RFA?

  • Chris

    Good thing the trade deadline just passed, otherwise McPhee would have traded him to LA so we could get Schultz back

  • bart121

    Stoa, and when Grabo’s back he’ll take beagle’s spot

  • RV

    This is, functionally, no different from what we heard yesterday. Kuzya will be at Kettler by sometime next week but I imagine he won’t play until Vancouver at the earliest. I wouldn’t be surprised if we don’t see him in a red sweater until after the west coast trip. Home debut against the Kings?

  • Lets fast track this, McPhee. I have tickets for Saturday’s game, perfect time for a debut.

  • He’s only eligible for a 2-year entry level contract. This season will count as year one. There is no games restriction like with teenagers, so he will need to re-sign after next season.

    Also, in Russia, that is smiling.

  • Alex

    #tbt I’m just going to leave this right here.

  • Greg Deleruyelle

    Jay Beagle sits.

  • yv

    Now Im afraid GMGM will rotten him somewhere.

  • Igor Kleyner

    Interestingly, if Kuzya indeed voided his deal unilaterally, he did it just in time. KHL legal regs say the window for such action closes once playoffs start (tomorrow)

  • Myan

    Does this mean that the Oates’ Flavor of the Week train will stop ruining* the fourth line?

    *running through

  • JH

    What line will he start on? How does that affect the rest of the lines?

    Penner – Backstrom – Ovi
    Kuzya – Grabo – Brouwer (Fehr?)
    Chimmer – Mojo – Ward
    Laich – Beags – Wilson

    Yes? No?

  • Guest

    Switch Laich and Beagle then put Fehr where Beagle is.

  • yv

    no, b/c Laich and Grabo are currently big unknowns.

  • Lawrence

    I think he will jump right into the top 6.

  • yv

    That just show he is a savvy, multitasking young guy with excellent time management. Bought gifts, played last game, scored goal, was in PK and PP, said bye to everybody, got visa, talked with management, terminated contract, packed and ready to fly, everything within couple days.

  • JenniferH

    I read the headline and shouted “YES!!!!!!!!!!”

  • Guest


  • AreaMan

    Great news for every 13 year old boy in NHL 14 with Be A Pro Players named “Cuts Nuts Off!”

  • alchemistmuffin

    Let’s hope he can provide the Caps with much needed momentum in SCOARING!!!!!!! If we can’t stop the other team, only other way is to SCOAR MOAR GOALS!!!!!!!

    By the way, did he get his Visa already, because this news came in this morning, and gave me a huge panic attack…..


  • Steve Marshall

    Do you guys think Kuzya could be a Tarasenko like player when he reaches North America?

  • Guest

    Hopefully even better! I also don’t want to get my hopes up. He could just be an injury prone, soft Russian.

  • Fedor

    A report on the KHL site says the club decided not to pursue any compensation they were eligible for. http://www.khl.ru/news/2014/03/07/222824.html

  • Fedor

    “The new restrictions targeted an unspecified and unidentified number of people and entities that the Obama administration accused of threatening Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial borders.” — Well… I don’t think it applies to him.

  • David Weichert

    Oh, alright.