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Report: Alexander Radulov will join the Predators

Mar 18, 2012, 11:14 PM EDT

Alexander Radulov

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.

  1. bensawesomeness - Mar 18, 2012 at 10:17 PM

    As a Wings fan – Crap.

    • gbiscottagecheesefatties - Mar 18, 2012 at 10:34 PM

      as an NHL fan this stink of crap!

      hope this loop gets corrected in the next CBA. No way should this happen but that said, for now, best of luck to Nash (since it’s not breaking the rules)

      wild fan

      • firstandonlywarning - Mar 18, 2012 at 11:28 PM

        Was already fixed when the NHL and KHL made an agreement to honor each others contracts

      • miketoasty - Mar 19, 2012 at 9:48 AM

        As an NHL/Penguins fan, this makes me happy. I love seeing great talent come to the NHL. Will definitely make the Predators a more 2 dimensional team.

    • bluesrawesome - Mar 18, 2012 at 11:38 PM

      To me as a Blues fan this is super scary. The best or big 4 in the west is STL, Nashvillle, Detroit and Vancouver.

    • andidee15 - Mar 19, 2012 at 9:15 AM

      As odd as it feels agreeing with a Wings fan (I’m an Avs fan), I’m with you on this one. Our last game of the season is against them.

      • bensawesomeness - Mar 19, 2012 at 12:26 PM

        well for both our sakes i hope the Avs win

  2. comradeast - Mar 18, 2012 at 11:00 PM

    I would say that out of the Western conference teams, Nashville is my favorite. They’ve scratched and clawed their way to the top and I respect that. I would definitely like them to win it all .

    That being said, Radulov should not get a special pass. He screwed the Preds and ran off the KHL. He shouldn’t be able to show up for the playoffs and become an UFA. He may have talent but the bottom is that he’s a scumbag. Not only did he break his NHL contract but that POS assaulted his KHL coach.

    Bottom line, this is a ‘pissing match’ between the the NHL & KHL. He put up big #’s in the KHL and the NHL konws that if he had to go through waivers, he wouldn’t defect (again).

    I say, “Screw you Alexander, go rot in the KHL”

    …….Just my 2 cents – Rant over

    • kitshky - Mar 18, 2012 at 11:04 PM

      I’m so with you on this one …its a complete joke and he’s a total sack. Having said that tho, I didn’t like seeing Nash get screwed over by him so at least there’s soome justice here. I guess…

  3. howardforvezina - Mar 19, 2012 at 12:07 AM

    Remember Hudlers stats when he came back from the KHL, not very good.

  4. tampabayirish - Mar 19, 2012 at 8:17 AM

    If Radulov actually makes it to the States (believe it when I see it), then a very good team will have just gotten that much better. I saw a game in Nashville earlier this month. They have good fans and a good rink (with lots of clubs in walking distance from Bridgestone Arena). I hope they go deep into the playoffs. (If for no other reason that NBC feels compelled to show Carrie Underwood in crowd shots at the Nashville home games). The Preds have to make their run this year as Suter and Weber will both be UFAs and Radulov will be a RFA. Since the Bolts will be playing golf in a couple of weeks…I may have to adopt the Preds for the playoffs. Fear the Mustard!

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