Elliotte Friedman On Washington’s Offseason: “I Would Expect Them To Find A Way To Move Kuznetsov”

On Friday’s 32 Thoughts Podcast, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman said that the Washington Capitals are “really going to explore” the possibility of trading center Evgeny Kuznetsov, who recently shot down a report of a trade request in March.

”I would expect them to find a way to move Kuznetsov,” Friedman said.

He also noted that Kuznetsov, who will turn 31 on May 19 and has two years left on a contract that pays him $7.8 million against the NHL salary cap, has changed agents. Kuznetsov led Washington in assists (43) and finished third in points (55) in 81 games this past season. Though, he also finished with a career-low -26 rating.

Kuznetsov has 165 goals and 551 points in 680 career NHL regular-season games, all in Washington, and has a 10-team no-trade clause in his contract. He has also earned 29 goals and 67 points in 87 career postseason outings, including when he led the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs with 32 points (including 12 goals) in 24 games.

Friedman also speculatively pondered about the possibility of Washington moving left-wing Anthony Mantha, who finished with 11 goals and 27 points in 67 games during a campaign where he was frequently healthy scratched. He has one year left on his deal, which carries a $5.7 million cap hit, before becoming eligible for unrestricted free agency in July 2024.

“I do think the Capitals will try to make some changes. Kuznetsov might be one, Mantha might be another,” he said.

“I think they have a lot of decisions to make.” Freidman continued. “I think there will be a lot of news out of there.”

Regarding head coach Peter Laviolette’s future in Washington, Friedman said that talks between the two sides have cooled. One of the factors for Laviolette, whose contract has expired, is the direction of the team.

He noted that GM Brian MacLellan is not afraid of making fast decisions.

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
This entry was posted in News and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

33 Responses to Elliotte Friedman On Washington’s Offseason: “I Would Expect Them To Find A Way To Move Kuznetsov”

  1. KimRB says:

    1st, 2nd and prospect

    And yes, he is worth that! Colorado overpaid for Eller, Pittsburgh overpaid for Granlund, Tampa massively overpaid for Jeannot. Kuz has a Conn Smythe quality playoff on his resume. GMs will pay a lot, to try to capture that lightning in a bottle again.

    • Jason Babaoglu says:

      That’s a bad return. We need a replacement

      • KimRB says:

        If it’s a good prospect, it’ll be an excellent return. Like I said below, the only reason you’d want a replacement is to continue to wallow in mediocrity. To truly rebuild, and become a genuine Cup contender again, we’ll have to massively suck for a few years.

        But hey, if mediocrity is your thing, go for it. Personally, I loved the feeling of being Stanley Cup champions that summer. I want that again, not one and done playoff rounds.

        • Anonymous says:

          Lol you expect two prospect and both of them being for an organization top 2 prospects?! For a guy making almost 8 million? Teams contending don’t have cap space, teams who have cap space aren’t giving up top prospecting for an overpaid under performing center

          • KimRB says:

            English please, Kamala. I can’t interpret that word salad.

            Teams have cap space over the summer, due to something called “expiring contracts”. Go familiarize yourself with NHL salary situations on capfriendly.com

          • KimRB says:

            And BTW, I didn’t say anything about two prospects. I said 1st and 2nd round picks, and a prospect. Please learn to read and comprehend. Correcting people all the time is boring.

            • dwgie26 says:

              Why do you have to be such a jerk. You have personally attacked me a couple of times for not reading what you say or interpreting incorrectly. Well sometimes that happens because words can easily be mis-interpreted from what the author said. Sometimes it is a different opinion.

              And truly, I don’t mind your challenges or opinions. But the personal attacks are just unnecessary.

    • Eric Lord says:

      Eller was on an expiring contract. Jeannot is relatively cheap. Kuznetsov’s cap hit make him a hard trade. There is no way the Caps get a 1st, 2nd & a prospect & have that team take on all of Kuznetsov’s contract. The Caps will have to eat part of the contract or throw in a sweetner to get a good return. The organization will have to make a decision on what it wants out of a Kuznetsov trade. Do they want cap space or do they want a good return? They’re not getting both.

      • KimRB says:

        Kuzy is such a polarizing player. Either people think he’s worthless, like you, or that he’s the equal of Connor McDavid. Doesn’t seem to be much middle ground.

        He’s worth that return, on the strength of 2018 alone. Some GM will overpay, just to try to get their team over the hump.

    • Anonymous says:

      Umm, no way that kind of return comes back.

    • Mike says:

      Yes, teams tend to overpay in trades but typically that is during the season in trade deadline mode when they are truly in win now mode. At the reduced productivity and salary cap, we can not get that kind of a return over the summer. The best hope we can get is a good prospect and the opportunity to have an extra 8 million dollars for free agency.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Mantha can go.. but I’m not moving off Kuzy.. they dont have his replacement unless they win Bedard or get a Leo Carlsson etc 1 of the too 3-4 NHL C/Fs.

    Obviously Bedard head and shoulders no.1
    Michkov no.2
    Fantilli no.3
    Leo Carlsson no.4

    Then for Caps purposes
    A player like Dalibor Dvorsky C/F no.5
    Should they be stuck at 8 and everyone in top 4 are gone and no trade up

    • KimRB says:

      Who cares if they don’t have his replacement? The only reason you would, is if you’re content to wallow in mediocrity, and be a playoff bubble team, at best. The smart thing to do, and no one could ever accuse Ted of being smart, when it comes to this hockey team, is to suck eggs for 3 or 4 years, and draft Kuznetsov’s replacement. But hey, getting an aging star into the record books is more important than championships. So it goes in Leonsis Lala Land.

      • Jason Babaoglu says:

        What you mean who cares about the replacement? Kuzy is a top level player even with this down year. He was demoted all season with no PP time.

        • KimRB says:

          He’s not even close to being top level anymore. You’re watching him and thinking he’s still 2018 Kuzy. He’s not. Get rid of him while he’s still worth something.

        • Anonymous says:

          Exactly. People just trying to ship him out are too much in their emotions and don’t understand hockey. The guy is a STUD No.1 C capable of producing 80+ pts per yr. Big reason he didn’t this year was bc he was away from the top line/OVI. He played 3L C or 2L C with scrubs mainly Mantha who can’t score for squat and lesser offensive players. You need scoring wingers to have 80+ pt seasons. Like when they had Vrana, Burakovsky, Connolly etc.
          That’s what they need to address this Offseason. Go get a Vlad Taresenko, or Vrana reunion. Or trade for Willy Nylander etc. But enough of MID types like Mantha, Craig Smiths, etc

          • KimRB says:

            Oh brother. Classic projection. The ones who don’t know hockey are the ones defending him.

            He got demoted for two reasons:

            1. His incredible lack of consistency. Yeah he’s a stud center…when he wants to be. The problem is that doesn’t happen every night, and this season it didn’t happen most nights. Even when on his game, he constantly makes bone headed giveaways, and takes dumb penalties, because he thinks he’s the best player on the planet, and can just walk through defenders

            2. Strome, pure and simply, outplayed him

            2018 Kuzy won’t magically reappear, at least not with this team. Get rid of him while he’s worth something

            • Anonymous says:

              Must be comforting to know everything. What exactly is your role in “knowing hockey”? You a GM? Coach?

              • KimRB says:

                No, I’m a pedantic, OCD ridden, Virgo born nitpicker. We have a tendency to be know-it-alls.

                I’m up for reasonable conversations, but I will defend my position. If someone can’t take it, I suggest the Harry Potter, or Disney princess sites

                • Anonymous says:

                  Defend yours. Don’t assume the other opinions aren’t valid. They’re only opinions.

                • Anonymous says:

                  But will continue to put down others including someone who is known to have played and scouted. Whatever.

          • franky619 says:

            Pretty much where I stand too regarding Kuzy, Still highly skilled, plenty of upside and a proven playoff performer. Most night he was’nt put in a position to succeed but his ” give a f**ck ” level was’nt always either. If they do trade him I’ll miss his epic shootout move.

    • Mark Eiben says:

      You are right. They can not be serious about retooling for the playoffs the next two years and have Strome (love him), Backy (slow) and Dowd (love him). That’s not enough to seriously compete.

  3. KimRB says:

    I saw that too.

  4. KimRB says:

    Trying to lose weight. Atkins must not have worked.

  5. Jon Sorensen says:

  6. Lance says:

    I love Kuzy. He’s an artist. His shootout move is sheer genius.

    Kuzy was central to our Cup win.

    If it’s time for him to move on so be it. I wondered if he might be traded at the trade deadline this year. He’s an offensive sorcerer when he’s in the right situation.

  7. Jon Sorensen says:

    Greetings folks! Just a quick note, if you haven’t done so already, please consider subscribing to NoVa Caps posts in the “subscribe” box located in the upper right corner. Thank you!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Please, Kadri had the same number of points in this age group. the issue is internal and we don’t know what it is. the contract can be cheaper, but if I’m Kyzy, I would be a bit disappointed that I’m not treated the same way as Backy or Carlson.

Leave a Reply