“We’ll work through it together as a family.” Until the NHL decides the fate Kuznetsova, “Washington” stands for the mountain


As soon as the IIHF announced the news at the end of August, “capitals” reported that the planned meeting between the Russian striker and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettmann. She passed Monday, September 9, instead of the planned 12-th, but no decision the League has not yet adopted.

Any discussion of the future Kuznetsova at the club will remain the discussion as long as the NHL did not make public its position on this issue. American media agreed that no punishment will follow, as this can seriously piss off the players Union: the one favours the players help in cases involving alcohol and drugs. Disqualification or a penalty is a method of “carrot”, is not acceptable in this situation.

But the “stick” has its disadvantages, more global than just “business Kuznetsova” program, which insists the Union, more than two decades helps to overcome existing problems, but is not a full instrument for the prevention of drug use. After 23 years since the inception of the programme adopted in the 1990s, revealed a significant increase in positive doping tests in the NHL. On disciplinary punishments of the question, but changes were made in the test system. So, since season 16/17 the analysis of drug substances rents every hockey player in the League.

And yet, amid ongoing talks about the possible early termination of a collective agreement, against which you have already made the NHL, but still has not spoken to the Union, the option of a close eye on the matter Kuznetsova seems the most obvious. The fact that the Russians have voluntarily decided to participate in the programme of assistance to the players who are in a similar binding, makes the NHL more softer attitude to the incident.

«Мы преодолеем это вместе, как настоящая семья». Пока НХЛ решает судьбу Кузнецова, «Вашингтон» стоит за него горой

Evgeny Kuznetsov / Photos: © Patrick McDermott / Contributor / National Hockey League /

But not so simple: according to some, the main point of discussion at the meeting of Bettman and Kuznetsova was not a positive doping test, and a lie, for which the attacker is now more likely to get from the public. Hearing about the relationship of the striker with the drug appeared in June, when unknown, published last year’s video from a hotel room in Las Vegas, where Kuznetsov was sitting dangerously close to white powder. In summer, Eugene swore that he didn’t do drugs neither in this situation nor any other. NHL and Washington issued statements about trust says. But test positive for cocaine, released two months later, put the League and the club are naive fools. At the end of Bettman has the right to punish the boy’s behavior off the ice that can hurt the NHL. And the doping-test in this case, it seems like nothing to do with it.

On Thursday, the “Washington” was a media day, where the topic Kuznetsova became the main. Although Baki made clear that waiting for the go-ahead from the NHL about the future of the striker, the players and the staff did not refuse to comment on this. The only exception was the Kuznetsov — he would not speak with the media until then, until it is clear.

“We are all in a constant state of Kuznetsova support throughout the process, — said General Manager of “Washington” Brian McLellan. I suppose he realizes that he made a big mistake, which was very sorry and wants to turn the page”.

McLellan made clear that a General discussion of the situation involving the Russian team is not held, but expressed the hope that the striker will choose the right words and will speak to the partners. This is fairly typical for American society act, in which, however, the captain “Washington” and a close friend of Kuznetsov, Alexander Ovechkin sees no need.

“I don’t think this is a situation where he needs to consult partners, — said the captain “capitals”. — Because everyone makes mistakes, agree. But I don’t think Eugene is obliged to speak in front of everyone and apologize. In the end, he did, turning to the fans, family and bosses”.

T. J. o’shea agreed with the partner, noting that he personally does not expect any specific words from Kuznetsov: “He’s a great guy, so I don’t think Eugene has something to tell us. Specifically, I don’t need it, but someone can and it is appreciated.”

At the forward Tom Wilson found his own special philosophical approach to the incident: “We focusareas for “capitals”, and everything that happens outside the club, at the international level, for example, does not concern us. In any case, we stand up for Kuznetsov, he will draw conclusions from the situation and grow as a person and as hockey player”.

“He needs to focus on training camp — said Nicklas Backstrom. We will overcome this together as a family.”

Words of support — very necessary in a difficult situation — still should not cause the illusion that Washington will contest the possible penalty in the NHL. No, the club will take it and make the necessary changes in the composition, if you start the season you will have no Kuznetsova. Training camp, “capitals”, which marks the finishing line before the start of the NHL regular season opens on Friday.

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