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Kuznetsov Calls Recent Trade Rumors ‘Not Entirely True’



Washington Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov (92) in action during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the New York Islanders, Monday, April 10, 2023, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

With the start of Washington Capitals training camp drawing near, the Evgeny Kuznetsov trade saga continues.

Kuznetsov, who has been at the center of trade rumors since last season, says the alleged demands are “not entirely true.”

“To be honest, I myself learned about it from the press,” Kuznetsov said Tuesday on the Hockey on Kinopoisk podcast, according to Google Translate. “They constantly send me pictures: sometimes to another team, then there. And I don’t really know myself.

“It’s probably like in marriage: you constantly swear, back and forth, some moments happen, but you still have this love.”

The was a flurry of speculation following a March report that the 31-year-old center had requested a trade, which was only steeped further when a purported friend of Kuznetsov said in May that he was “tired” in Washington.

In July, team reporter Mike Vogel confirmed Kuznetsov’s trade request. The Capitals entertained a pursuit from the Nashville Predators, according to a report, but a trade between the two teams ultimately did not come to fruition.

“I read the news, just like you, I try to learn something, to find out who is interested in whom,” Kuznetsov said. “Probably 95% of these rumors are superficial information. Therefore, it’s not worth reading a lot, ”

Kuznetsov has one of the best offensive seasons of his career during the 2021-22 season, tallying 78 points — 24 goals and 54 assists — in 79 games. But he quickly regressed, dropping down to 55 points in 81 games across last season.

“For whatever reason, he never quite found his game,” Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan said the day after the regular season. “There were stretches where I thought he played well but, overall, I think he underperformed the season he had last year.”

Capitals training camp is scheduled to begin on Sept. 20, with the team’s first preseason game set for Sept. 24.

Jared Serre covers the Washington Capitals for Washington Hockey Now. He is a graduate of West Virginia University.