National Hockey League suspends Caps' Kuznetsov three games after positive cocaine test

17 Septembre, 2019, 15:57 | Auteur: Adelaide Bullion
  • Feb 17 2019 Anaheim CA USA Washington Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov reacts in the first period against the Anaheim Ducks at Hon

Kuznetsov said in his first comments to the media since the IIHF announced the positive test on August 23. He had 21 goals and 51 assists last season for the Capitals, who were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by the Carolina Hurricanes.

This NHL suspension comes after Kuznetsov had a meeting with commissioner Gary Bettman to review his conduct on Monday.

"It was a pretty hard summer for me", Kuznetsov said.

After the IIHF suspension, the NHL noted that Kuznetsov voluntarily sought help from league programming for education and counseling and "agreed to a regular testing protocol relating to his involvement with that program".

Kuznetsov released a statement saying that he disappointed his family, teammates and the team and that he would "do everything in my power to win you back with my actions both on and off the ice".

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"It's important that I'm there for him, but I also make sure that I understand that he's accountable for what's happened and realizing that how he reacts to this adversity is what's important to me", Reirden said. Thanks to the Capitals, NHL, and NHLPA, I have taken many steps in the right direction and I'm confident that I will continue on that path. "While I can appreciate that people may have additional questions, I will not be commenting further on this matter".

Kuznetsov, a key part of Washington's run to the Stanley Cup in 2018, tested positive while playing for Russian Federation at the world championship in May.

The 27-year-old Kuznetsov was selected in the first round of the 2010 NHL Draft by the Capitals and has 101 goals and 236 assists in his six seasons in Washington.

At the time he said he had "never taken illegal drugs in my life and career". The league did not elaborate on its decision.

Kuznetsov spent most of the offseason in the Washington area after his wife, Anastasia, gave birth to the couple's second child, a son, Fedor. With a projected 23-man roster, they're more than $1.3 million over the National Hockey League salary-cap ceiling of $81.5 million, according to CapFriendly.com, and they have until October 1 to shed enough salary to become compliant.

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