Mar 18, 2012, 11:14 PM EDT
According to the Russian website Sport-Express, Alexander Radulov seems to have reached an agreement with his KHL team Ufa Salavat Yulayev, which will allow him to play for the Nashville Predators. Details are still coming in and we’re waiting for further confirmation, but Radulov’s return would be a huge boost for the Predators going into the playoffs.
Typically a returning NHL player coming in from Russia has to clear waivers, but Radulov is expected to be exempt from that process. He will also be eligible to play with Nashville in the postseason.
Radulov was a rapidly developing skilled forward in his first two seasons with Nashville. However, while he was still under contract, he decided to leave the team following the 2007-08 campaign to play in Russia. He has been a top-tier player in the KHL and by joining the Predators now, he will be able to burn the final season of his existing NHL deal. That will allow him to become a restricted free agent this summer.
It’s not hard to see how his return would benefit Nashville, but there are also potential drawbacks too. As Predators defenseman Ryan Suter recently pointed out, his team will have to walk a “fine line” to absorb a new and talented player this close to the start of the playoffs. It would also be interesting to see if some of the players that were there when he left the Predators will hold that against him.
Update (11:14pm): GM David Poile has spoken to Radulov’s agent and the plan was for him to head to Nashville on Friday, according to Predators coach Barry Trotz. At the time, the sticking point was his release from the Ufa Salavat Yulayev and that’s why he stayed in Russia longer. We still don’t have confirmation that Radulov has now secured that release.
- Here’s who’s left after Day 1 of free agency 2
- PHT’s 2015 free agent frenzy tracker 38
- Getting clutch? Capitals sign Justin Williams for two years, $6.5M 11
- Coyotes bring back Vermette with two-year deal 29
- Bruins sign Beleskey for five years, despite some warning signs 40
- Kessel trade shows Leafs are trying to ‘build this thing the right way’ 26
- Green signs with Red Wings — 3 years, $18 million 24
- ‘It’s hard to find players like Phil Kessel’ 39
- Kassian traded to Habs for Prust; Hodgson signs with Preds 17
- Blockbuster: Kessel traded to the Penguins 131
- Blockbuster: Kessel traded to the Penguins (131)
- Trade: Flyers send Rinaldo to Bruins for 2017 third-rounder (105)
- Trade: Jackets land Saad, Anisimov and Dano headed to Chicago (93)
- Bypassing a buyout? Kings terminate Richards’ contract for ‘material breach’ (90)
- Trade: Flames land Dougie Hamilton for package of picks (75)