Connect with us

NHL News

Caps’ Evgeny Kuznetsov Enters NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program

Washington Capitals; forward Evgeny Kuznetsov re-enters NHL/NHLPA player assistance program for the second time.

Washington Capitals forward Evgeny Kuznetsov has entered the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program, leading to his indefinite absence from the team. The 31-year-old, with six goals and 17 points in 43 games this season, was notably absent from Monday’s practice. It was said to be for personal reasons. The news surfaced a couple of hours later.

Kuznetsov will rejoin the Capitals upon receiving clearance for on-ice competition from program administrators.

As is customary when a player goes into the program, the NHLPA and the league released a joint statement saying:

The National Hockey League and National Hockey League Players’ Association announced today that forward Evgeny Kuznetsov of the Washington Capitals will be unavailable to his Club for an indefinite period while he receives care from the Player Assistance Program of the NHLPA and NHL.

Under the terms of the joint program, he will return to the Club when cleared for on-ice competition by the program administrators.

Kuznetsov is re-entering the program for the second time, formerly recognized as the NHL/NHLPA Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program. He made the voluntary decision to join in 2019, following a positive drug test for cocaine during his participation with Russia at the 2019 IIHF World Championship.

Kuznetsov Has Struggled On and Off the Ice

Currently in the seventh season of an eight-year, $62.4 million contract with an AAV of $7.8 million, Kuznetsov has been a significant contributor since being drafted 26th overall in the 2010 NHL Draft. That said, his production has taken a dip in recent seasons. He was the subject of recent trade speculation, however, it wasn’t clear a team was eager to take on his salary.

Evgeny Kuznetsov Capitals enters NHL/NHLPA player assistance program

His pivotal role in the Capitals’ 2018 Stanley Cup win marked a milestone in the franchise’s history. With 723 career NHL games, he boasts 171 goals and 569 points, while his postseason performance includes 29 goals and 67 points in 87 games.

Here’s to hoping he gets the help that he needs.

Next: Wild Likely to Approach Marc-Andre Fleury About Trade Potential

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

More News

Discover more from NHL Trade Talk

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading