Photo credit: sportbox.ru
Last week, highly touted Washington Capitals prospect Evgeny Kuznetsov finally put pen to paper, signing a two-year deal with Traktor Chelyabinsk to stay in Russia through the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. While the news was a total bummer for Caps fans, it also put a merciful end to the period of time at RMNB I’m referring to as KUZNETMANIA! What’s Kuznetmania!?, you ask? An epoch in which every day brings a new Kuzya interview or an editorial from some famous hockey analyst who feels compelled to comment on if Kuznetsov’s should stay or go to the NHL.
At one point the mania spurred to words the normally tight-lipped George McPhee. On December 30th, before the Capitals took on Buffalo, McPhee weighed in on the issue, telling the Washington Post,”[Evgeny] needs to play in a better league. Sometimes when you’re not playing at the highest level you can develop bad habits. We don’t want that stuff to become engrained — so get him to the best league you can and get working with him.”
Totally. And we’re not quite done with the opining yet. In a wide-ranging interview with Sportsbox.ru, Hockey Hall of Famer and father of total babes Igor Larionov spoke about corruption in the Russian government, the Eurocup soccer tournament, the World Championships, and — of course — Evgeny Kuznetsov’s new deal to stay in the KHL.