The Washington Capitals released a statement Friday stating the team accepts Evgeny Kuznetsov's explanation for his appearance in a now-deleted video on social media that appeared to show him in a hotel room with lines of white powder on a table in front of him.
Kuznetsov previously issued a statement to a Russian news outlet that said the video was from the 2018 playoffs and left the room, which belonged to a friend, upon seeing drugs.
"In addition to doing our own due diligence, we met with Evgeny to discuss the video circulated on social media," the Capitals said in a statement. "While we are disappointed by his presence in the video, we accept his explanation and apology for putting himself in an unfortunate situation. Evgeny has been a terrific player and an active member of our community, and we expect him to learn from this experience and uphold both the standards the organization has for him as well as his own."
The NHL, which also reviewed the video and conducted an in-person interview with Kuznetsov, announced Friday that the league now considers the matter "formally closed."
"We have thoroughly reviewed the situation surrounding the video circulated on the internet this past Monday, May 27, and involving Capitals' Player Evgeny Kuznetsov," deputy commissioner Bill Daly said in a statement. "Our review included, among other fact-finding steps, an in-person interview with Mr. Kuznetsov. 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, and we have found no basis to question his representations with respect to what did - and what did not occur. We consider the matter formally closed."
Kuznetsov, 27, also issued a statement on Friday,
"I would like to address the video of me that appeared online on Monday," he said. "While I have never taken illegal drugs in my life and career, I would like to publicly apologize to the Capitals, my teammates, our fans and everyone else, for putting myself in a bad situation. This was a hard lesson for me to learn."