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Washington Capitals Place Kuznetsov on Waivers for a Fresh Start

The Washington Capitals have placed Evgeny Kuznetsov on waivers, signaling a potential fresh start for the talented center.

The Washington Capitals have taken a significant step by placing Evgeny Kuznetsov on waivers, signaling a potential fresh start for the talented center. Kuznetsov, who recently completed his time in the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program, has a remaining cap hit of $7.8 million through the end of next season. Despite his proven skill set, it’s uncertain if any team will claim him off waivers given the financial commitment involved.

General Manager Brian MacLellan expressed the desire for Kuznetsov to have a change of environment, characterizing the situation as frustrating for both sides. The decision to place him on waivers aligns to provide Kuznetsov with an opportunity to continue his career under different circumstances.

If Kuznetsov clears waivers, he is slated to be assigned to the AHL’s Hershey Bears. However, the Capitals are keeping their options open regarding his future, and it remains unclear whether Kuznetsov would report to Hershey in such a scenario.

This Decision on Kuznetsov Has Been a Long Time Coming

MacLellan acknowledged the lengthy history between the team and Kuznetsov, emphasizing the mutual frustration. The move to place him on waivers is seen as an opportunity for both parties to start afresh, potentially allowing Kuznetsov to revitalize his career in a different setting. MacLellan said he thinks Kuznetsov needs to find his game and get back to the level he’s accustomed playing to, whether that’s in Hershey or with another team.

Evgeny Kuznetsov waivers Capitals

The decision comes after Kuznetsov was cleared to return to practice on Friday, continuing to receive care from the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program that he entered on February 5. The GM confirmed that Kuzetsov must adhere to certain rules and guidances to keep playing.

The Capitals’ willingness to part ways with the former star center reflects the desire for a change in dynamics. This move was something McLellan called a means to an end, paving the way for both sides to go a different direction.

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