A new report from Sportsnet insider Elliotte Friedman my have just revealed how close one National Hockey League franchise came to losing one of their top stars this summer.
Prior to signing a monster 8-year-deal with the Washington Capitals this summer, it appears that forward Evgeny Kuznetsov received a blockbuster offer from the Kontinental Hockey League, one that would have seen him act on the return to Russia he was rumored to be contemplating.
I think Washington tried to get Evgeny Kuznetsov in that $6-million range, but realized that was not going to happen. The current CBA has that opening from July 1-5 where restricted free agents are “unprotected,” for lack of a better term, and they rightfully worried what could occur. For all the issues the KHL has, it was going to find cash for him. Russia knows this is an enormous opportunity to finally win another Olympic gold, and it went hard after players to stay home.
How hard you might ask? Again Elliotte Friedman shines a light on the details:
It is impossible to prove what Kuznetsov was being offered, but the rumours were $10 million for one season and $20 million for two.
That's an average annual value of $10 million per season, a truly staggering number, and given his desire to join Russia in the upcoming Winter Olympics, one has to wonder what convinced Kuznetsov to remain in Washington.