If you believe the translated interview Evgeny Kuzentsov recently gave Russian newspaper Sport-Express, the 20-year-old phenom is a little miffed with the Capitals for not being invited to their development camp back in July.
I really wanted to to go, Kuznetsov told Sport-Express, whose interview is translated here by Russian Machine Never Breaks.Its just very interesting to get another look at how it is there in Washington. Even if I wouldnt be able to go, just to get the invitation would be nice. I dont know whether they gave up on me altogether or not, but its somewhat strange.
Kuznetsov, who was taken by the Capitals with the 26th pick overall of the 2010 NHL draft, is considered one of the best forwards not playing in the NHL. Despite efforts by the Caps to sign him, Kuznetsov announced in May that he had signed a two-year contract with his hometown Traktor Chelyabinsk of the KHL, which opens its season on Thursday.
Kuznetsov told Sport-Express there were a lot of questions surrounding the NHLs pending labor agreement, most notably players participation in the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
When it was noted that Kuznetsov likely would play in the 2014 Olympics even if he was in the NHL, he replied, Are you sure? Imagine: its not working out for me in Washington. I am sent down to the farm club.I lose a year. And so on when I announced my decision to stay in Chelyabinsk, the veterans of hockey were divided. Half of them said: the right decision. The rest: he should have left for the NHL.
Capitals general manager George McPhee has repeatedly said Kuznetsovs development as a player would be better served in the NHL but he has also said he is willing to wait for the talented young centerwinger.
Asked on Wednesday for McPhees reaction to Kuznetsovs statements, a Capitals spokesman issued this response: We are very excited about Kuznetsov's potential and we look forward to having him at Kettler Capitals Iceplex and in the Capitals uniform as soon as he is ready.
Kuznetsov attended the Capitals prospect camp in 2010 but decided to sign a two-year contract to play for Traktor and did not attend the clubs development camps in 2011 and 2012.
McPhee said earlier this summer that he believes Kuznetsov is worth the wait and that he has no intention of trading his rights.
As for Kuznetsov, he went to Twitter to air his feelings about the newspaper interview, saying translated: AllHockey again posted only a part of my interview and made me look like an idiot!!! From now on I do not interact with the media.
How do you feel about Kuznetsovs statements? Do you think he will he ever play for the Caps? If so, when?
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