The Hamilton Spectator

Hurricanes also pick up Kuznetsov from Caps

- JOHN WAWROW AND STEPHEN WHYNO

The Carolina Hurricanes made another big move on National Hockey League trade deadline day by acquiring centre Evgeny Kuznetsov from the Washington Capitals, according to a person familiar with the move.

The Hurricanes got scoring winger Jake Guentzel from Pittsburgh in a blockbuste­r deal late Thursday.

Kuznetsov, 31, cleared waivers last weekend upon being able to practise after receiving care from the player assistance program.

The Russian forward has played his entire NHL career, since he entered the league in 2013-14 with the Capitals. He has picked up 568 points in 723 regular-season games played and 67 points in 87 playoff games for Washington.

Capitals GM Brian MacLellan said he was open to anything that would help Kuznetsov continue his hockey-playing career. Washington’s leading scorer on its 2018 Cup run, he has had a tumultuous tenure since, including persistent trade rumours that finally culminated in sending him to Carolina to chase another championsh­ip.

If Kuznetsov helps the Hurricanes win it all for the second time in franchise history, they would send first- and fifth-round picks in this year’s draft to Pittsburgh to complete the deal for Guentzel, a pending free agent who has twice been a 20-goal scorer.

Kuznetsov was already in North Carolina prior to the deal, practising with the American Hockey League’s Hershey Bears in preparatio­n for their game at Charlotte on Friday. He could be back in the U.S. capital soon, when the Hurricanes visit Washington on March 22.

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