Capitals’ GM Brian MacLellan On Possibly Trading Evgeny Kuznetsov: “If It’s Going To Make Our Team Better, I Think We’re Open To It.”

With trade rumors swirling around Washington Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov after two stints on the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol this season, a year full of inconsistencies from the 28-year-old, and a suspension by the organization for a game this month, GM Brian MacLellan told the media at his end-of-season press conference on Wednesday that “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.”

MacLellan also called Kuznetsov the “key” to the team’s success and said that they need more from him after he posted just nine goals and 29 points in 41 games this season.

When asked directly if he would consider trading Kuznetsov at some point this offseason, MacLellan replied, “I don’t think anyone is off the table” with the exception of captain Alex Ovechkin and center Nicklas Backstrom.

MacLellan acknowledged that it is tough to evaluate Kuznetsov’s season because he dealt with COVID-19 twice and the effects of getting the virus are still something that the world is trying to understand.

He added the Capitals won the Stanley Cup in 2018 because they had a great 1-2 punch at center. “We need [Kuznetsov] to play at his highest ability,” MacLellan told the media. He admitted that if Kuznetsov does not, the Capitals are not a very good team.

By Harrison Brown

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
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3 Responses to Capitals’ GM Brian MacLellan On Possibly Trading Evgeny Kuznetsov: “If It’s Going To Make Our Team Better, I Think We’re Open To It.”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hard to read Mac’s intent here. He’s certainly signaled to the league he is taking calls. The urgency to deal Kuzy is less decipherable.

    • Marky says:

      That’s the thing, he is signaling and wants to see what kind of offers he could get privately without offending the player. Kuzy has a lot of leverage otherwise and Bmac is smart to keep this work on the ‘way down low’ so to speak. Getting one of the centers in the Nova Caps article would be good. I think at his best, he’s better than all those guys but he, for what ever reason, doesn’t want to give a consistent effort each game. I know hockey players have to pace themselves over a long season, but the up and down and in and out he’s had the last few years is frustrating. Covid notwithstanding, he should be better game in and game out in my opinion.

  2. Anonymous says:

    *takes John Carlson off of the table*

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