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Evgeny Kuznetsov placed in the Capitals’ waivers
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot
As is the case every day, the NHL waivers were updated at 2pm. No players had been subject to the ballot yesterday, so we wondered if this would be the case today.

In the end, there was some action… but it was a rather surprising name: the Washington Capitals placed Evgeny Kuznetsov’s name in the waivers.

He was in the player assistance program, but was released this morning. He was placed in the waivers a few hours after leaving the program.

Of course, this comes as a surprise considering that Kuznetsov was a big part of the Capitals’ core. He’s really faded over the last few years, but it’s still a surprise to see a player of his calibre put up for waivers.

Remember, though, that he’s still being paid $7.8 million a year until the end of next season. It would therefore be extremely surprising if he were to be claimed, especially considering he has just 17 points in 43 games this season.

It should also be pointed out that this is not a waivers exercise to terminate the Russian’s contract. If he goes unclaimed, he’ll report to the Capitals’ club-school.

To justify his decision, Capitals GM Brian MacLellan explained that he wanted to offer “a fresh start” to the 31-year-old, who seems to have been behind the request.

We can therefore assume that Kuznetsov will try to relaunch his career with Hershey in the AHL. It could be an opportunity for him to start dominating again and regain his confidence with a view to a potential NHL comeback later on.

Alternatively, the Capitals may simply decide to buy out his contract this summer. By doing so, they would save $4 million for 2024-25, but would have to pay $2 million in 2025-26, when the player’s contract would already be up.

We’ll see what happens in the coming weeks, but I don’t expect any team to take a chance on a player with a cap hit of nearly $8M. Can’t wait to see if we see him back in the NHL by the end of the campaign, though.

In gusto

– It’s great to see.

– Great news for the Quebecer.

– Things continue to go well for Jacob Fowler.

– Great read.

– News from the Montreal team in the LPHF.

– Hard blow for the Raptors.

– Let’s hope it’s not too serious.

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