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NHL clears Kuznetsov after video featuring white powder

By Jake Elman
NHL clears Kuznetsov after video featuring white powder
Washington Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov had 21 goals and 51 assists this season. File Photo by Alex Edelman/UPI | License Photo

May 31 (UPI) -- The NHL cleared an apologetic Evgeny Kuznetsov after a video surfaced of the Washington Capitals center sitting next to a table with two lines of white powder.

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said in a statement Friday that the league considers the matter closed after a thorough review. The video, which first appeared on social media Monday, showed Kuznetov talking on a cell phone in a room as he sat next to a table with the lines and a dollar bill.

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The video does not show Kuznetov using or interacting with the white powder.

"While we certainly do not condone or endorse some of the decisions he made on the night in question, Mr. Kuznetsov's account of the events that transpired aligns with other information we have been able to gather," the statement read.

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Daly said the league met with Kuznetsov in person this week.

Kuznetsov issued his own statement saying he learned a "hard lesson." The 28-year-old reiterated he has never taken illegal drugs in his life.

"I would like to publicly apologize to the Capitals, my teammates, our fans, and everyone else, for putting myself in a bad situation," Kuznetsov said.

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Kuznetsov had 21 goals and 51 assists for the Capitals this season. Washington was eliminated in the first round of the NHL Playoffs by the Carolina Hurricanes.

Washington said the team was disappointed by his presence in the video but accepted his apology.

"Evgeny has been a terrific player and an active member of our community, and we expect him to learn from this experience," the Capitals said.

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