Fans were shocked last week when a video emerged with Washington Capitals star forward Evgeny Kuznetsov spotted in a hotel room with what appeared to be cocaine on a table.
Not long after, the NHL revealed that it would investigated the situation despite the fact Kuznetsov himself commented on the incident, explaining that while it was drugs around him, he never touched it or isn’t always part of what his friends and acquaintances do around him.
He added that he went into the room, noticed the drugs on the table and left moments later, wanting nothing to do with it.
“I would like to address the video of me that appeared online on Monday. While I have never taken illegal drugs in my life and career, I would like to publicly apologize to the Capitals, my teammates, our fans and everyone else, for putting myself in a bad situation. This was a hard lesson for me to learn.”
On Friday morning, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly made a statement, clearing Kuznetsov of the accusations made earlier this week.
"We have thoroughly reviewed the situation surrounding the video circulated on the internet this past Monday, May 27, and involving Capitals’ Player Evgeny Kuznetsov. Our review included, among other fact-finding steps, an in-person interview with Mr. Kuznetsov. While we certainly do not condone or endorse some of the decisions he made on the night in question, Mr. Kuznetsov’s account of the events that transpired aligns with other information we have been able to gather, and we have found no basis to question his representations with respect to what did -- and what did not -- occur. We consider the matter formally closed.”
The Capitals made the following statement after the league’s decision was made public.
“In addition to doing our own due diligence, we met with Evgeny to discuss the video circulated on social media. While we are disappointed by his presence in the video, we accept his explanation and apology for putting himself in an unfortunate situation. Evgeny has been a terrific player and an active member of our community, and we expect him to learn from this experience and uphold both the standards the organization has for him as well as his own.”