Elliotte Friedman on Evgeny Kuznetsov tell all interview: “I don’t think Washington is very happy at all”

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

A few weeks prior to Training Camp, Washington Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov spoke with Russian outlet Slippery Ice and he revealed a lot of things. During his first session with the DC media last Thursday, Kuznetsov kept it professional as possible.

But on Friday the YouTube video from that Russian language interview surfaced. And it was translated into English via Google Translate by our friends at RMNB. They did a tremendous job covering everything Kuznetsov said and you can find all that here.

To summarize, Kuznetsov ripped his ex coach Peter Laviolette, made fun of Alex Alexeyev trying to get a top six defenseman spot, took shots at the NHL’s handling of his suspension of using illegal drugs, and even said this about the trade rumors:

“It feels like in this organization those who want to be there are kicked out and those who don’t want to be there are left behind.”

The internet is undefeated. If Kuznetsov thought he could say all those things in a Russian interview and not get caught over here in the USA, he thought wrong. If it wasn’t RMNB, it would’ve been us or somebody else that found these jarring comments.

You have to wonder how those comments sat with the Capitals organization and in particular general manager Brian MacLellan when he tried and failed to trade his center over the summer to fulfill his trade request.

According to NHL insider Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet, it did not sit well with the Capitals at all. I won’t quote all of what he said because he talked about this for several minutes but I will provide this snippet from the 32 Thoughts podcast:

"I’ll say this, I don’t think Washington is very happy at all. I think that they don’t like the comments about Alexeyev. They don’t think the comments about Laviolette needed to be made. The one thing I’ll say here is if you are going to talk like this you have to have a big year. Kuznetsov has to deliver right now. He has to go out and he has to have a massive season."

Friedman would later say, “If you’re going to talk like this, you have to deliver.” You can hear what he said in it’s entirety about the situation at the 25:03 minute mark.

Key word from one of my earlier paragraphs, MacLellan TRIED to deal him over the summer but failed. I have no idea if GMBM will try again but he might have to now.

This is a team that missed the playoffs last season and is trying to get one more Cup before the core gets too old and decides to hang it up. The LAST thing that anybody wants from MacLellan to Alex Ovechkin and even to Alexeyev is someone creating drama.

What Kuznetsov said on that Russian outlet is all we need to know about him. This is a PR nightmare for the Caps. It will create unnecessary drama and if Kuznetsov really does want out of Washington, do you think anybody will take him after knowing what he said?

They struck out in a deal with the Nashville Predators. If they don’t want him, I can’t name a team that does. Your trade value doesn’t just lower with inconsistent play. It goes down to the depths if you’re revealing things about the organization that isn’t necessary.

Hot. Anthony Mantha’s hot start will win fans over and carry him all season. light

Maybe Spencer Carbery can snap him out of it. Maybe this is all just a bunch of noise. But if the Caps can’t move Kuznetsov he needs to produce now more than ever. Friedman is right on a lot of things and he is certainly right when he says, “If you’re going to talk like this, you have to deliver.”