Everyone stop with the Kravtsov Konspiracy

Getty Images

Vitali Kravtsov is headed back to his old team in the KHL. He exercised a European assignment clause which was granted to him by the Rangers this summer in his ELC. The kid had one goal and that was to make the Rangers. When he didn’t out of training camp he started to discuss with his agent what would be best for himself this season. We now know the answer.

Reading into it

So why is everyone up in arms? Why are people, even journalists questioning his commitment? In truth, I believe a lot of people are making a mountain out of a molehill from an interview he did with a Russian reporter. The fact is, the interviewer appears to come at it from an antagonistic angle. To his credit, Kravtsov didn’t really give him the juicy quotes that many people seem to be claiming he did.

One of the biggest issues that I believe people are taking out of context is when he was asked why the Rangers didn’t feel he could play in the top 9. Kravtsov mentioned the team plays Brendan Smith there and the interviewer tries to goad him into making a disparaging comment and the kid didn’t bite. Instead he said it doesn’t matter, especially because earlier in the conversation he blamed himself for not making the team.

My biggest takeaway from all this is that Kravtsov is a very confident player, almost bordering on cocky. However, he is putting all this on himself. From not making the team to his decision to return back to Traktor, it all sounds mature to me.


Today, social media is up in arms over the fact that he deleted some Rangers related Instagram posts. The negative person will say he is being childish. The positive person will say that he deleted them because he didn’t make the team, and until that goal is achieved he won’t. The only way to find out is if someone asks him and he chooses to answer. So my approach is not to jump to conclusions.

Listen, back when we wrote about the possibility that Kravtsov might use his European out clause on October 7th, I spoke with someone close to the team. At that time, they noted there was a lot going on but that the entire situation was being blown way out of proportion. They went as far as to remind me how both Sergei Zubov and Alexei Kovalev were scratched during the playoffs. Furthermore, Mike Richter was sent to Binghamton early in his career and even Messier was sent down for missing a team flight when he was young. All turned out fine.

Finally, the Rangers are confident that Kravtsov will be coming back and the kid finished his interview saying the same. Many players developed just fine in the KHL, so why are we making a big issue about this now? There’s nothing nefarious going on here, and this will look ridiculous once Kravtsov is back here and playing on the Rangers 2nd or 3rd line in the near future.

Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore

Mentioned in this article:

More About: