Why The Washington Capitals Not Trading Evgeny Kuznetsov Was A Great Idea

Evgeny Kuznetsov, Washington Capitals (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Evgeny Kuznetsov, Washington Capitals (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /
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Washington Capitals (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Washington Capitals (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

Connor McMichael Isn’t Quite Ready Yet

Connor McMichael should be a lineup regular, lets not get that twisted. Sure, he had his down moments in the season, that is to be expected in a rookies first full NHL season. More times than not, McMichael has looked good. Some stats will prove that not only has been been good but he has potentially been among the best forwards on the team.

That being said, he isn’t quite ready for all of the responsibilities just yet. In 66 games played this season he has 9 goals and 18 points.

My thinking this offseason was simply this. You trade Kuznetsov, get some cap relief, get somethings in return. Backstrom is your top center. Eller goes to second line center which over previous seasons showed he could do. McMichael then slots in as the third line center. There is not too much pressure there all season and you hope the young guy can get you somewhere near 15 goals and somewhere between 30-40 points. I was not hoping that you put McMichael on the second line and then he gets you 50-60 points. That is an unreasonable expectation in my opinion.

Hindsight is 20/20. While the young center has looked good for a lot of this season the production is just not there yet. If the Capitals had traded Kuznetsov the Capitals would have had to rely on McMichael a lot more than they have.

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It looks like McMichael has a chance to be a real good player in the future. But he is not that yet. Like most prospects, he just needs a little more time. Rolling with a lineup up Backstrom (injury and decline), Eller (who we know is having a down year) and McMichael (who isn’t quite ready to produce) could have been a bad situation.

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Not trading Evgeny Kuznetsov was a home run of a non move. For many reasons, these are just three that I want to talk about here today. Without Kuznetsov the center position could have been a real issue this season. Thanks to him having a rebound season we don’t have to talk about that.