Capitals not expecting Russian center Evgeny Kuznetsov until next season


Those hoping for Evgeny Kuznetsov to make his debut in a Washington Capitals uniform will just have to keep waiting.

It appears Kuznetsov, taken in the first round, with the 26th overall pick by the Capitals in the 2010 NHL Draft, will remain in the KHL to play out the final year of his contract with the Traktor Chelyabinsk, according to the Washington Post.

“We’re proceeding as if he’s not going to be here,” Capitals general manager George McPhee told the Washington Post.

“And until he’s no longer playing in the KHL there’s probably not a lot that I can comment on there. He’s under contract and playing over there.”

In January, the Kuznetsov, a center also born in Chelyabinsk, has publicly stated his commitment to the Capitals and it’s expected he will join them for the 2014-15 season.

“Everything has been decided long ago, so I won’t stay for $10 or $15 million,” Kuznetsov said last month. “People have been waiting for me, writing and coming here for three years. I’m a decent man and I will keep my word.”