Prior to the Nashville Predators decision to buyout Matt Duchene, the team’s’ front office was exploring a variety of options to acquire more top-six talent. One of the reported options centered around Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov, who played for Predators general manager Barry Trotz during his tenure in Washington.
Sources confirmed to Nashville Hockey Now that the Predators did indeed inquire about the Russian although the depths of which were not verified.
The #Preds and Capitals discussed a deal for Evgeny Kuznetzov before Matt Duchene was bought out— Michael Gallagher (@MGsports_) July 6, 2023
Once that deal fell through, Nashville had to adjust its free agency plan accordingly https://t.co/Npv97nnps4
The 31-year-old Kuznetsov spoke with Russian outlet Хоккей на Кинопоиске on Tuesday and explained that he doesn’t pay much attention to trade rumors, dismissing them as pure conjecture. Responding to the rumors about his trade request, Kuznetzov had plenty to say. A brief translation of his remarks are below:
Kuznetsov on trade speculation: “I also try to read from the press to learn who may be interested in what but 95% of the time it’s not very substantive, superficial, so it’s not worth really reading too much into it.”
Kuznetsov on Alex Ovechkin breaking Wayne Gretzky’s goal-scoring record: “This is the explanation of couch specialists because normal people who know hockey understand that he will break the record, so there’s no direct mission to help [Ovechkin] break it. I do not think there will be a direct plan to play for Sasha. I think this is silly because, first it’s not possible to do so, and second it doesn’t make sense because he’s going to do it anyways. And when he does, we will be together celebrating this.”
Ovechkin trails Gretzky by 72 currently standing at 822. With Ovechkin’s current trajectory and assuming good health, it’s a possibility he breaks the Great One’s record come the 2024-25 season.
Around the NHL and National Hockey Now
The pre-arbitration settlements reached Wednesday morning between the Pittsburgh’s Drew O’Connor (two years, $1.85m) and Anaheim’s Troy Terry (seven years, $49m) brought an end to an eventful summer of players utilizing their arbitration rights.
One has to wonder how Terry’s deal in particular sets a precedent for other young players seeking contract extensions this summer or next, most notably Terry’s teammate Trevor Zegras. There’s no question Anaheim general manager Pat Verbeek had this in mind as he approached the arbitration hearing deadline with Terry, who initially asked for $8 million per year.
Troy Terry's #LetsGoDucks 7 year $7M Cap Hit Deal:— PuckPedia (@PuckPedia) August 2, 2023
$7M Salary in each season
10 Team No Trade List in Years 3-7
Contract includes 2 RFA & 5 UFA seasons
Rep'd by @KOSportsInc
1st with Cap Hit @icemancometh https://t.co/SSwhXjhuBy
Although no more hearings are scheduled, it doesn’t mean that the rest of the summer will be quiet. Plenty of RFAs lacking arbitration rights are still due deals including Anaheim’s Zegras, Edmonton’s Evan Bouchard, Ottawa’s Shane Pinto and 2020 No. 1 overall pick Alexis Lafreniere.
Still some key deals that need to get done, but none of these players have arbitration rights so plenty of time remains for team and player to work on deals or explore other options. https://t.co/IDaBJ28pK5— Clay Brewer (@ClayBrewer10) August 2, 2023
Boston Hockey Now: Sources confirmed to BHN that longtime Bruins alternate captain David Krejci is calling it a career.
San Jose Hockey Now: The San Jose Sharks look to unlock untapped potential in new signing Filip Zadina.
Vegas Hockey Now: Bruce Cassidy’s exit in Boston enabled him to take those lessons to a Vegas team seeking more.
Detroit Hockey Now: Two hockey legends are at it again. Dominik Hasek and Slava Fetisov exchange words over the presence of Russian athletes in international events.
ESPN: Sometimes social media goes too far, the Seattle Kraken’s Alex Wennberg and his family are unfortunately learning this first hand.