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Evgeny Kuznetsov: I'd stay in KHL for the right contract

Draft pick Evgeny Kuznetsov of the Washington Capitals Boo! Talented center Evgeny Kuznetsov raised the specter of never playing for the Capitals. (Harry How/Getty Images)

By Allan Muir

If all the talk about the KHL trying to lure Alex Ovechkin back to Russia wasn't enough to give Capitals fans cold sweats, this might do the trick.

In a brief interview with Sovietsky Sport today, Washington prospect Evgeni Kuznetsov said he would "seriously think about" staying in the KHL if the right contract offer came his way.

After telling the interviewer that he was serious about leaving his KHL team, Traktor Chelyabinsk, after this season to play in the NHL, Kuznetsov was asked if there was anything that could convince him to remain in Russia.

"If I am offered a contract here for five to seven years, then I would seriously think about it," he said. "A long-term contract guarantees stability, and I want to feel confident about the future."

Kuznetsov, a center, was selected 26th overall in the 2010 draft by the Capitals and is widely regarded as both the organization's top prospect and one of the most promising players outside the NHL. So the countdown to panic in Washington, D.C., starts . . . now.

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