Kuzya will be leaving for DC without his favorite two homies.
On Thursday, the KHL announced that Evgeny Kuznetsov had worked out a deal with Traktor Chelyabinsk to nullify the last few months of his two-year contract. The agreement allows Kuznetsov to travel to North America and begin his NHL career in Washington. #KuzyaWatch is finally nearing an end.
Sovetsky Sport’s Pavel Lysenkov managed to catch up with Kuzya during these hectic last few days and conducted a short interview with the young prospect. The 21-year-old reveals that he hopes to fly to Washington DC on Sunday or Monday and that he is initially leaving his wife and dog in Russia.
Kuznetsov also explains Traktor’s position on him leaving and hopes that he’ll “catch on for the playoffs with Washington.” Well, if they get there.
Igor Kleyner has your translation.
Evgeny Kuznetsov: My wife and I went to the American Embassy on Wednesday to take care of the visa. All problems resolved, should get my passport on Friday.
My agent is dealing with Traktor. How to cancel the contract properly, so that I can play for Washington this season. And to make sure my KHL rights stay with Chelyabinsk. If I return – I will return only to Traktor.
Big thanks to the management – Vladimir Krechin, Evgeny Tsibuk. They understand the situation, they are helping me a lot and also want me to go to the NHL.
Why was Traktor’s season such a disaster?
EK: I didn’t play well. It was a terrible season. I did not earn my salary this year.
I am just starting to approach my peak form. I practiced a lot during the Olympic break. We’ll see, maybe I’ll catch on for the playoffs with Washington?
It is time to find out – am I a good hockey player, or have I lost it? Departing for Washington, I give myself a challenge: What is Zhenya Kuznetsov really worth?
We are handling some final details. I hope to leave for Washington on March 9th or 10th. Washington can sign me in time for playoffs.
I heard you are staying in the most expensive hotel in Washington?
EK: I am going to stay with Sasha Ovechkin. He said right away: “Don’t rent an apartment, stay in my house for the first season. I’ll give you a car, no worries.”
It’s a bit awkward. Ovechkin is a grown-up, he has a future spouse. Why bother them. But at first I will stay with Sasha. He’ll explain everything, help me out.
Are you bringing your dog?
EK: For now I am going by myself [without my dog]. I need to understand where I end up. NHL is like a different planet. And when I settle all the formalities, get American driver’s license, earn my spot with Washington, then my wife will join me. With the dog, she is my talisman.
Adam Oates visited you in the summer…
EK:He is a very positive guy. They kept calling me from America: “Come on, get ready…” Even the dogs in Chelyabinsk are barking at me “Come on, go.” I am starting to understand their language [smiling].