Washington Capitals General Manager George McPhee told reporters Monday that he did not expect Russian prospect Evgeny Kuznetsov to join the team in 2012-13.
The #Caps do not expect Kuznetsov to join the team next year, McPhee said.— Katie Carrera (@kcarrera) May 14, 2012
It was McPhee's first public acknowledgement of Kuznetsov's decision to stay in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League for two more seasons, which was initially reported May 1.
Kuznetsov, who was selected with the 26th overall pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, cited his desire to play in the 2014 Winter Olympics, which will be held in the Russian city of Sochi, as the main reason he chose to stay in the KHL.
Kuznetsov's absence is a blow to Washington's potential plans to retool their roster, particularly in terms of building depth at the center position. It might also have an effect on whether or not Alexander Semin returns, though that remains to be seen.