So last night, a buddy of mine in one of my pools (the one in my sig actually) shoots me an email and ask me if I would be interested in acquiring Kuznetsov. My initial reaction was, hmm interesting. Then my gears got working and I post this question to you reader...
How confident are any of you that Kuznetsov will ever report to the NHL? I look at all the Russian NHL players who recently had to leave the KHL to return to their NHL clubs after the lockout ended. How many of them really wanted to come back? Its obvious that Kovalchuk wanted to stay and continue to play back in the Mother Land. Visnovsky is still there (although I believe he will eventually land in NY before long). I had even read that Russian President, Vladimir Putin was getting involved in trying to keep these Russian stars home and play in the KHL (The rumor I had read was he had offered OV, Malkin, Datsyuk, and Kovalchuk $30M each to stay and play in the KHL).
So this brings me back to Kuznetsov. He has no NHL contract, so he has no obligation to ever go there and play. He is Washington property, but that's about it. If the KHL is throwing big money at several NHL stars, do you think they won't do the same with Kuznetsov? He will obviously make more money in the KHL as he will have to start out on a rookie salary for his first NHL contract. Do you think, that after watching some of his his Russian heroes struggle to leave the KHL and go to the NHL, he may have more to think about now when his current KHL contract expires? There are rumors that Kuznetsov was upset that he wasn't invited to the Capitals development camp back in July.
So I go back to my title question, if you are a current Kuznetsov owner, how confident are you that he will come to the NHL. I am not questioning his skill level, just his head. For the record, I declined my buddies trade proposal. I am not overly confident we will see Kuznetsov in the NHL any time soon.