SHADES OF RED: When will Cap Fans Finally See Kuznetsov?

| February 9, 2014 | 0 Comments | Sports
By Zach Hart
Shades of Red D.C
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Who knows where the Caps would be if former first round pick Evgeny Kuznetsov, had joined the team years ago.
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If his skill level transitions  to the NHL quickly, the Caps could have that second lethal scorer they’ve been looking for to compliment The Great 8. His arrival brings many options to this club. I can’t stress that enough. He comes in and immediately makes another player with a large cap hit expendable especially Brooks Laich and Troy Brouwer. Kuznetsov’s cap hit will be low for awhile so that gives Mcphee the ability to spend that money to improve another area of the squad. You might be thinking to yourself, “but what if he doesn’t come” or “what makes you confident enough to write these things?”
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Evgeny Kuznetsov has broken all [contract extension] negotiations with Traktor Chelyabinsk. He recently obtained his U.S. Visa and he has reiterated that he will NOT be staying in Russia.
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“It’s been decided for a long time now, there should be no questions. I won’t even stay for $10 or $15 million,” Kuznetsov said. “People have been waiting for me, writing and coming here for three years. I’m a decent man and I will keep my word.”
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The director of Traktor still stands by his statement that he’s “200% sure he’s leaving [for Washington] once the seasons over.”
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I think it’s a lock Caps fans. Kuznetsov will finally be coming to the Caps. Now we ask ourselves, is it possible we could see him in a uniform before the seasons end? Let’s break it down.
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The KHL season ends on March 3. They have two conferences and the eight best teams from each conference make the playoffs. Kuznetsov’s team (Traktor), is currently in eighth place of the Eastern Conference which makes them the final seed, if the playoffs were to start now. The two teams in ninth and tenth place behind Traktor are within two points of stealing that eighth and final playoff spot.
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If Kuznetsov’s team doesn’t make the playoffs, his season and contract with Traktor would be played out, two days before NHL’s March 5 trade deadline. If the Caps have a legitimate chance at making the playoffs when that time comes, Kuznetsov could come over and provide some much needed scoring depth. It would keep McPhee from having to trade someone for a rental player and would allow him to focus on making a trade (top 4 defensemen maybe) that will help the club’s future seasons. We would also get a sample of what to expect from Kuzya and what part of his NHL game he needs to work on during the off-season.
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But also, there’s a very strong possibility that Kuznetsov will stay in Russia and focus on getting all of his ducks in a row for his move to North America. He would get a fresh start on a new season (2014/15) and a full off-season under Capital’s coaches before beginning his NHL career.
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No matter what happens, Caps fans should be excited!
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.Zach Hart, Brian Smith and William Facciolo are Shades of Red D.C., a group of local fans who have fun analyzing their favorite pro sports teams in the DC area. Catch them on Facebook and on their blog.

© 2014, Bristow Beat. All rights reserved.

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