Capitals Scratch Evgeny Kuznetsov, Trade Rumors Expected to Heat Up

Frankly, the Washington Capitals have been sick and tired of Evgeny Kuznetsov's antics for a couple of years now and it seems to be finally getting to a breaking point.

The Caps announced on Monday that their veteran center will be a healthy scratch against the Arizona Coyotes and will watch the game from the press box. Bailey Johnson of the Washington Post was first on the story.

Capitals management feels Kuznetsov needs a mental reset and look for Dylan Strome to line up on the top line along side Alex Ovechkin and Tom Wilson. This will be the first time Kuznetsov is a healthy scratch in over two years.

So far in 19 games, the Caps vet has posted four goals and five assists and has been a liability in his own end. There's been rumors about a trade request and so far there's been no takers as the Caps continue to monitor the trade market.

At 31, and with another season at $7.8 million against the cap, it will be tough for Washington to find a suitor and not have to retain a portion of Kuznetsov's contract. He does hold trade protection against 10 teams of his choice and is owed a $2 million signing bonus next July.

This could be the beginning of the end. 

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