The Washington Capitals have confirmed that forward Evgeny Kuznetsov is the player in a since-deleted video that looks to show him in a hotel room with lines of white powder on a table in front of him. In a statement sent to the Associated Press by spokesman Sergey Kocharov, “the team said it is in the process of gathering facts and will have no further comment at this time.”
The video is from 2018 in Las Vegas after the Capitals won the Stanley Cup. According to Trib Live, Kuznetsov told the Russian outlet Sports Express that he went to a friend’s hotel room, saw drugs and an “unknown woman,” called a friend and left.
He followed up by challenging people to give him a drug test to prove his innocence (assuming the white powder is cocaine, the drug leaves the system within two to three days). It’s worth noting that he does not touch any of the substances in the video.
Some on social media pointed out that Kuznetsov appears to be in his underwear in the room with the “unknown woman.” He has been married to Anastasia Zinov’eva since 2011. Here’s what you need to know about her.
1. “I Feel a Little Bad for Our Wives” He Said After Last Year’s Stanley Cup Win
The Capitals won their first-ever Stanley Cup Finals last season with a 5-game series win over the Vegas Golden Knights. The decisive 4-3 victory in Game 5 came at T-Mobile Arena right on the Strip. This led to a long, cathartic celebration, as Kuznetsov said several days later.
“We go hard … A couple days, three days, four days, we still everyone together. I feel little bad for our wives,” he quipped to Sports Illustrated. “They was home, waiting for us, but we still celebrating together, you know? My parents, everyone. Every morning, cup of coffee, hey I’ve got to go with the team. Baseball game, wherever. Next day and next day. Finally, after like 10 days, okay, I’m out of here.”
The franchise had won three President’s Trophies for best record (most points) over the last decade, only to fizzle out in the postseason by the second round each time. With that context, it’s easy to understand the elongated party that followed the breakthrough title.
2. He & Zinov’eva Dated for Less Than a Year Before Marriage
The couple got married in June 2011 in Chelyabinsk. He played for the KHL’s Traktor team at the time, so the ceremony took place the 7,500-person capacity Traktor Arena. According to RMNB, he and Zinov’eva dated for less than a year before marriage.
Before signing the registration, Evgeny said that he didn’t want any hullabaloo surrounding his marriage ceremony. Yet there may have been more journalists than relatives in attendance.
The signature is entered into the registration book, the rings are exchanged, and the marriage certificate is handed out. (Kuznetsov) wipes his lips after kisses time after time and laughs:
“I’m going to eat all of your lipstick.”
The couple decides not to go on a sightseeing tour they had planned. Instead, they go out to the hotel complex on Smolino Lake right away, together with 120 guests.
The two are affectionately known in the Russian media as Zhenya (Kuznetsov) and Nastya (Anastasia).
3. They Have One Daughter Named Ecenia
In May of 2015, Anastasia gave birth to a baby girl. He originally announced via a post on Twitter, referring to himself at batya, which means father in Russian. They landed on the name Ecenia, which was her choice per Evgeny.
“We looking for a couple names, and I tell my wife whatever you want, just tell me,” he said at the time according to Nova Caps Fan.
The nickname batya is also what Evgeny calls fellow Capital Brooks Orpik. He uses it to signify his close relationship with the American veteran.
“Yes. Batya. He is a great guy. Very nice, funny… I feel like he is Russian,” he told RMNB in May 2015. “In everything, the way he acts, the way he behaves around the team, and not even just hockey stuff – life in general… he really is a good guy, a real bat’ka of the team!”
4. He & Anastasia Lived With Alex Ovechkin When They First Moved to the States from Russia in 2014
After the Capitals drafted him No. 26 overall in the first round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, he spent the next four years in the KHL. He signed an entry-level contract with Washington in 2014, necessitating a move to the United States. He and Anastasia lived with fellow Russian Alex Ovechkin at first.
He confirmed this when answering a question from RNMB about his transition to speaking English.
As far as the language – that just comes and goes. The language is not going to be a problem for me. My wife will be there, our parents will visit, the friends. I think I will only have difficulties the first few days, because I don’t know anybody on the team, except a few guys. Other than that, I already talked to Sasha Ovechkin, he said he is going to help me out, we’ll live at his place at first, all the little details have been discussed.
He frequently mentions his love for the show Family Feud, and how it helped him learn the language.
5. He Thinks the Video Was Released Due to Russia’s Recent World Championship Loss
Kuznetsov and the Russian men’s national team won bronze in the World Championship this past weekend after an upset loss to Finland in the semifinal round. Kuznetsov’s statement about the “white powder” sounds as if he believes the 2018 video was released now because of the World Championship loss.
“It is a pity that someone decided to catch the HYIP just now – at the defeat of the national team. I have nothing to hide, let it remain on the conscience of the one who posted this video.”
The Twitter account of the original poster @Thesavspb has since been deleted.