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Capitals’ GM Confirms He’s Open to Kuznetsov Trade, Among Others

The Washington Capitals say they are open to a number of trade options, specifically a trade involving Evgeny Kuznetsov.

There was plenty of talk coming into the offseason that the Washington Capitals might be ready to move on from forward Evgeny Kuznetsov. Arguably the most talented offensive player on the team, off-ice issues have been frequent with the player and on-ice inconsistencies have led to speculation the organization might feel the need to go another direction.

Related: Ovechkin on Deal With Capitals: “Maybe We’ll Sign a Contract Right Now”

On Tuesday, Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan basically confirmed the team will be looking at their options this offseason and that Kuznetsov could be among the players on the move. MacLellan was asked about a possible trade and responded: “I think we’re always open to trading people if it makes sense for what’s going on. If it’s going to make our team better, I think we’re open to it.” He added, “I don’t think anybody’s off the table. We’re not going to trade Ovi or Backy and those type of people, but I think you have to be open on anything. We would talk to anybody about any player.”

The Capitals aren’t happy about the way their season ended. A quick elimination at the hands of the Boston Bruins, there will be plenty of talk about whether or not big changes are required or if small tweeks are all that’s needed to get the team back in the conversation as a contender. Still, the controversy that surrounded Kuznetsov this season will heavily weigh into any decision to bring him back.

A $7.8 million player for four more seasons, his 29 points in 41 games seem to indicate that the Capitals will see what’s out there for the player. If a team is willing to overlook his potential poor decision-making, knowing that the skill is there and maybe all he needs is a change of scenery, there might be interested hockey clubs.

Not About Big Salary Issues For Caps

Outside of needing to get Alex Ovechkin on a new deal — he’ll likely sign for somewhere around the sign as his last contract of $9.5 million per season — the Capitals don’t necessarily need to dump Kuznetsov’s contract to make money work. For the Caps, it will be about deciding if the $7.8 million allocated to Kuznetsov is better spent in other ways.

Evgeni Kuznetsov Capitals
Evgeni Kuznetsov Capitals

If moving him can solve some off-ice issues and there’s a team willing to take his contract on, giving the Capitals room to add another pieces or pieces, it’s likely something the team will heavily consider.

Next: Tyson Barrie Wants Long-Term Deal, Not Sure If It’s With Oilers

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