Time could be up in Washington for big-name Capitals player

Reports surfaced over the weekend that Washington Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov could be on the trade block this summer.

Kuznetsov denied the report, per The Hockey News, but it’s not the first time he has been the subject of trade speculation. With the Capitals in a re-tooling stage, it seems likely that his time with the team may end soon.

Should he be traded, Kuznetsov would be the biggest name for Washington to move on from in recent years. 

At the trade deadline, the Capitals dealt Dmitry Orlov and Lars Eller, who is best known for scoring the Stanley Cup-winning goal for Washington in 2018. Neither player, however, has ever been a star. 

During a two-month playoff run in 2018, Kuznetsov was the most dominant player in the NHL. He led the Capitals in points during their postseason title run with 32 in 24 games.

In Game 6 against rival Pittsburgh in the second round, Kuznetsov scored the series-winning goal in overtime. It was one of the biggest goal in Capitals history and one of the greatest moments in recent D.C. sports history.

Kuznetsov should have won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player in the playoffs that year, but sentimentalists steered the award to longtime captain Alex Ovechkin instead.

In the five seasons since, Kuznetsov has become a polarizing player criticized for inconsistent effort, weak underlying numbers and off-ice issues

Instead of becoming the face of the franchise, Kuznetsov could be the next Capitals player sent packing.

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