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Kozlov Likely Headed to Russia

Forward Viktor Kozlov was quoted in yesterday's editions of Moscow's Sport-Express as saying he has decided to play next season in his native Russia after spending the past two seasons playing for the Capitals.

"I have definitely decided on coming back to Russia," he said, adding that he is negotiating with a number of teams in the Kontinental Hockey League.

General Manager George McPhee said Kozlov's camp has not informed the Capitals of the decision.

"We have not heard that from Viktor," McPhee said through a team spokesman, referring to the Sport-Express report. "But if this is the decision he has made, we wish him well. He is a first-class person who fit in well with the Washington Capitals."

Kozlov, who will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, was Washington's sixth-leading scorer, amassing 13 goals, 28 assists and a plus-minus rating of minus-9 during a regular season in which he was limited to 67 games because of injuries.

The 34-year-old ended a lengthy postseason goal drought by scoring four times this spring.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  May 27, 2009; 5:59 PM ET
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Do svidaniya, Viktor.

Or in Cyrillic:

До свидания!

Posted by: CapsFan75 | May 27, 2009 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Vsego horoshego Viktor, vam i vashey sem'ye.

Posted by: romicva | May 27, 2009 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for freeing up cap space (in Russian).

Posted by: fedsfan91 | May 27, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Going back to the "steroid" thing for a moment. Does anybody know if Slapshot accompanied the team on the Florida trips this season? If so, did he disappear from the hotel for any long stretches? He always looked a little weird to me for an eagle...kind of like a bird version of Barry Bonds.

Posted by: kcbrichmond | May 27, 2009 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Slapshot accompanied the team to Florida and there was an incident he was involved in at some of the nightclubs. Drugs were involved and may be the unnamed Capitals the roid guy was referring to.

I did notice towards the latter half of the year that Slapshot filled out his jersey a lot more than he did earlier in the season. May even explain his diminished ice time during the past couple of games.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | May 27, 2009 6:34 PM | Report abuse

One less finnesse European forward on this team is a good thing, no more Euros unless they can play like Holstrom and Franzen!!!

Posted by: joek443 | May 27, 2009 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Was the nightclub incident the one involving the strippers in Kissimmee, FLA? I was hoping that was not true, it's kind of sick what some people/birds are into. As far as the extra muscle, Slapshot high-fived me at a Caps playoff home game and my hand hurt for a week.

Posted by: kcbrichmond | May 27, 2009 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: joek443 | May 27, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Goes to prove what a bufoon David Poile is - Larry Murphy was the "other" player in the Ciccarelli trade. Yeah, David managed to break the iron curtain apart and snatch a legendary forward - Michael Pivonka! Between Poile, the limited hockey IQ GM and Pollin, the king of the stingy - no wonder we never went very far!
btw - Larry Murphy is quite the hockey analyst on the NHL channel...he did one dorky local commercial in DC - can't remember for who though.

Posted by: Political_Stratgst | May 27, 2009 7:48 PM | Report abuse

didn't we cover Scott Stevens/Dave Polie/limos enough the other day?

Posted by: RedBirdie | May 27, 2009 8:03 PM | Report abuse

How many of you remember Mikael Tatarinov??


Posted by: joek443 | May 27, 2009 8:46 PM | Report abuse

BTW I don't blame David Poile for including Murphy in the Garnter-Ciccarelli trade because I believe it could very well have been those two straight up.

I do blame some of the uninformed/misguided fans who hackled Murphy when he was still with the Caps. When I watch Mike Green play, I see a lot of similarities between him and Murphy. Green is a better skater than Murphy but Murphy was a better passer.

Posted by: joek443 | May 27, 2009 8:55 PM | Report abuse

sounds like ferdrov and kozlov are leaving...

Posted by: jimmy_the_crickett | May 27, 2009 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Larry Murphy did commercials for Providence Savings Bank. And if memory serves correctly, so did Scott Stevens and Kevin Hatcher.

Posted by: stevie12345 | May 27, 2009 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the contributions VK.
Unlike ingrates like joe440392094 who doesn't relize your helping us get back in the Rangers series.

Posted by: Rocc00 | May 27, 2009 11:48 PM | Report abuse

perhaps they never will

Posted by: suesue8709 | May 28, 2009 4:59 AM | Report abuse

speaking of russia, my friend made these tee shirts -

Posted by: ncg1983 | May 28, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Good luck, Viktor, and don't let the door hit you on the way out.

I don't understand why we're supposed to have patience and appreciation for a 15 year veteran who makes millions of dollars, yet struggles to find his game throughout the season and failed to summon energy and passion at playoff time.

VK was great for those stunning one-off shootout goals and the occasional wow moments this year, but 13 goals for a forward picked up for his scoring touch isn't enough. I understand he has a looser, more deliberate style of play than many North American players, but at times he just looked apathetic, and the last thing we need is another dipsy-do winger waiting for AO to do something spectacular.

Posted by: miden6 | May 28, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Good Riddance! Finally a player does the Caps a favor...

Posted by: dlmy | May 28, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Even though it does free up cap space, i'm sad to see Vik go. Thought he was pretty good at hanging around the net and also liked his upper right corner shot. Nevertheless, he did underperform this year and its probably best for the caps.

Posted by: dcsportsfan3 | May 28, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

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