Why the Capitals should trade Evgeny Kuznetsov

Evgeny Kuznetsov, Washington Capitals Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Evgeny Kuznetsov, Washington Capitals Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /

Rumors have been swirling around Washington Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov. I like to look at things from all angles so today I’ll talk about why the Caps should trade Kuznetsov.

Simple, money.

But it ain’t that simple folks.

What would you get in return for a Kuznetsov. If it’s a scrub at least throw some picks in there to make it feasible. But you may have to include him in a trade package along with Anthony Mantha.

Frank Servalli of The Daily Face-off reported that the Caps have been taking calls around the league regarding both players. The motive, Servalli writes is to “shake things up and create some salary cap flexibility in the process.”

That’s the goal when you trade Kuznetsov. It’s a cap hit of $7.8 million a year. That’s something you unload via a trade and not a buyout. If you can’t deal Mantha there is still the buyout option.

Kuzy has two years left on his deal while Mantha has one year left where he makes $5.7 million. Servalli noted that Kuznetsov is a player that’s “slowing down”. He notes the same thing with Mantha.

Caps General Manger Brian MacLellan was vague on breakdown day in April when asked about contract buyouts:

"“We haven’t discussed any but I’m not opposed to it. I think with the cap being flat, most of the time, it doesn’t make sense. If it made sense, we’d pursue it.”"

GMBM added this on Kuznetsov’s down season:

"“I’m probably disappointed in [his season]. I think it wasn’t as good as last year. I liked his season last year, played well. For whatever reason, he never quite found his game. There are stretches where I thought he played well, but overall, I think he underperformed the season he had last year.”"

Despite playing in two more games than he did the previous year and not dealing with COVID or off ice issues he still had 23 fewer points than the prior season.

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It’s those inconsistencies on the ice that may make it best to move on. But tomorrow we’ll take a look at the other side of this so go easy on the hate mail Caps fans.