Evgeni Kuznetsov in Washington Capitals jersey contemplating his future amidst trade rumors
Discover if the Washington Capitals can trade Evgeni Kuznetsov amid his declining performance and significant salary cap hit.

The Washington Capitals are reportedly exploring trade options for center Evgeni Kuznetsov. This comes in the wake of Piere LeBrun’s analysis on The Athletic, where he suggested that Kuznetsov might benefit from a change of scenery.

However, the real challenge lies in finding a suitable market for him, especially given his current contract and cap hit.

Kuznetsov’s performance has seen a noticeable dip recently. In the 2022-23 NHL season, he scored 12 goals and assisted 43 times in 81 games, followed by 11 points (5g, 6a) in 27 games this season.

These numbers are a step down from his previous form, raising concerns about his current value in the trade market.

Complicating matters is Kuznetsov’s contract. He has a cap hit of $7.8 million extending to the 2024-25 season​​. This significant financial commitment could deter potential suitors, especially considering his age and recent performance. Kuznetsov turns 32 next May, an age when players often start to decline.

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Exploring the Trade Possibilities for Evgeni Kuznetsov

Pierre LeBrun rightly points out that the Capitals might have a better chance of trading Kuznetsov during the 2024 NHL draft. This period often sees teams with more flexibility in their salary cap, making it easier to absorb larger contracts.

The question remains: Can the Capitals find a team willing to take on Kuznetsov’s contract and provide adequate value in return? It’s a complex scenario, with the Capitals needing to balance their desire to refresh their roster and the financial realities of the NHL.

As the NHL trade deadline approaches, all eyes will be on the Capitals and Kuznetsov. Will a suitable trade materialize, or will the Capitals have to navigate another season with Kuznetsov’s hefty contract on their books?

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