Evgeny Kuznetsov once tested positive for cocaine use before a viral video surfaced of him with white powder

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Evgeny Kuznetsov once tested positive for cocaine use

In 2019, the hockey world was rocked when the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) suspended Russian national team player Evgeny Kuznetsov for four years after testing positive for cocaine during the Ice Hockey World Championship in Slovakia. The shock intensified as a viral video surfaced soon after, showing Kuznetsov sitting next to two lines of white powder.

Kuznetsov responded swiftly, explaining that the video was from a year prior in Las Vegas, where the Washington Capitals clinched their first Stanley Cup. He claimed to have left a friend's hotel room upon encountering unfamiliar women and an "unclear substance" on the table. The NHL and the Capitals accepted his explanation, closing the matter formally.

However, recent developments reveal Kuznetsov's entry into the NHL's player assistance program. The program, jointly administered by the NHL and the NHL Players' Association, has placed Kuznetsov on indefinite leave as he undergoes necessary care. His return to the ice hinges on clearance from the program's administrators.

In the last three games, including one in Minnesota and two in Dallas, Kuznetsov demonstrated his playmaking skills with assists. Last season, he contributed 12 assists, while the season prior witnessed an impressive 24. As the hockey community rallies behind Kuznetsov, there is a collective hope for his successful journey to redemption.

Evgeny Kuznetsov was once suspended for three games for inappropriate conduct

Evgeny Kuznetsov hit a rough patch in 2019. The NHL suspended him for three regular season games without pay as his actions were deemed inappropriate. Not too long before that, Kuznetsov faced a four-year ban from playing for Russia, for the positive cocaine test.

Kuznetsov is famous for his attack skills. He was key to the Capitals' 2018 Stanley Cup win, as his amazing play showed in key playoff games. He scored a goal in extra time during Game 6 versus the Pittsburgh Penguins. He also shined with four assists in the Stanley Cup Final against the Vegas Golden Knights.

Picked by the Capitals in the 2010 NHL Draft, Evgeny Kuznetsov hit his stride in the 2015-16 season. He tied for ninth in points and was invited to the All-Star Game. Even with the controversies, Kuznetsov's performances on the rink have been influential in the Capitals' story.

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Edited by Nicolaas Ackermann