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Evgeny Kuznetsov terminates KHL contract, headed to Washington

Help may soon be on the way for Alex Ovechkin and the Caps as Evgeny Kuznetsov has reportedly terminated his KHL contract.

Harry How

When he was drafted by the Capitals in 2010, Evgeny Kuznetsov was expected to play on a line with fellow Russian countrymen Alex Ovechkin and Alexander Semin. In the four years since, Kuznetsov has remained in the KHL, and Semin signed with Carolina after the 2012 season. But now, it appears Kuznetsov is finally ready to join the Capitals and the NHL after multiple reports out of Russia say he has terminated his KHL contract. This from The Washington Post about the situation:

While the Capitals continue to decline to comment on the 2010 first-round draft pick’s long-awaited arrival in the NHL, they are closing in on a contract with Kuznetsov. Based on the stipulations in the collective bargaining agreement, Kuznetsov is eligible to sign a two-year entry-level deal with an annual maximum base salary of $900,000.

Kuznetsov is expected begin traveling to Washington early Saturday. In 31 games with Chelyabinsk Traktor this season, Kuznetsov has recorded eight goals and 13 assists. His contract was originally due to expire in April.

After their game Saturday against the Coyotes, the Capitals will have 17 games remaining, and they currently sit a point behind the Red Wings for the second wild card spot, and two points behind the Rangers for third place in the Metropolitan Division. Washington also just added Dustin Penner and Jaroslav Halak at they trade deadline as it gears up for the stretch run.