Perhaps the most newsworthy moment of the development camp scrimmage was who was in the stands watching it.
Yevgeny Kuznetsov attended the game. The Capitals’ front-row center, swinging a backwards Bart Simpson hat (like this), sat quietly in the third row of a near-empty Section 117 with the Capitals’ first-round pick in 2022. Ivan Miroshnichenkowho was unable to play due to a recovery from Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and the team’s best defensive prospect, Alex Alexeyev.
Kuzy’s daughter Ecenia also joined him at the game.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) July 16, 2022
Kuzy could be seen offering observations to both prospects as the scrimmage continued.
Kuzy, Alexeyev and first-rounder Miroshnichenko made an appearance at tonight’s development camp 👀 pic.twitter.com/BtC9U8XDPU
— NBC Sports Capitals (@NBCSCapitals) July 16, 2022
After the Capitals posted a photo of him at the game, a dozen fans located Kuzy in the crowd and came to ask for autographs and photos. All three players kindly agreed as the game progressed.
“It was great to meet Kuzy!” says Luke C. “He’s such a nice, down-to-earth person.”
“They were focused on the game and spending time with each other, but still took time to greet the fans, which I really appreciated,” said Alexander G.
Two players present at the scrum, Aidan F. and Luke C., wore RMNB jerseys to the event and approached the players to sign him.
“Kuzy smiled at the jersey and laughed,” Aidan F. told me afterwards. “I just asked him how his offseason was and he said it was going pretty well. I asked Alexeyev about his rehabilitation and he told me with a big smile that it was going very well. I also asked Miroshnickenko about his recovery, but his English was not very good. The answer after trying several times was “Da”. He had a huge smile all the time and seemed in good spirits. But Kuzy definitely laughed at the jersey.
They also took a picture with him – although Alexeyev was blocked by Aidan’s face. You could see Alexeyev trying to stick his head overhead.
Photo: Aidan F.
Kuzy’s reaction to the shirt may be because as a young player he followed RMNB on social media and once asked for one of the blog’s phone cases in the locker room, which we absolutely have delivered.
Kuznetsov’s presence at the scrimmage was significant because prior to Friday it was unclear whether he was in the DC area or at home in Russia. Typically, Kuzy spends at least part of his summers in his hometown of Chelyabinsk. But in recent years he has remained in the United States or returned earlier in August to begin training at the MedStar Capitals Iceplex.
“I have no idea (where I will be),” Kuznetsov said on Breakdown Day in May. “Some people have plans. My plans were to go play Game 7 and go from there. My daughter has to finish school on June 10 and then we’ll see.
With so much uncertainty about how easy or difficult it will be for Russian NHL players to return to the United States for the 2022-23 season, wild superstar Kirill Kaprizov has been denied entry to the United States at twice and is wanted for allegedly buying a military ID card. in 2017, when Flyers prospect Ivan Fedotov may have been poisoned and taken to a military camp for escaping service – any Russian Cap out of the country is a concern.
At this point, it looks like the only Caps Russians out of the country are Alex Ovechkin and Dmitry Orlov.
Main photo: @Cynthia_Adler/Twitter