Washington Post reporter Isabelle Khurshudyan dropped a bomb on Washington Capitals fans thins morning with a report that KHL team SKA St Petersburg has offered Caps star Evgeny Kuznetsov a three year contract worth an estimated $6 million annually.
Yikes. Kuznetsov of course will be without a contract on July 1st, but his rights will remain with the Capitals as hasn’t yet reached the conditions required for unrestricted free agency. General manager Brian MacLellan no doubt has intentions of signing the 26 year-old playmaker, but outside pressure from the KHL could drive the price up substantially.
Kuznetsov was already expected to receive a raise from his $3 million annual salary, but this latest report puts everything up in the air. For what it’s worth, Kuznetsov has indicated in the past that he’d chase money in Russia if it made sense. In particular, when fellow Russian Nikita Kucherov was negotiating a new contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning, Kuznetsov commented saying:
”If I would be in (Kucherov’s) position, I would be signed in the KHL for sure...I would sign and say bye. That’s me. I would buy a beach house and a couple Rolls-Royces."
Scary stuff if you’re a Caps fans. The team stands to lose Alzner, Shattenkirk, Oshie and now… Kuznetsov.