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Radulov on rumored KHL return: “I didn’t promise anything to anybody”

Mar 21, 2012, 2:18 PM EDT

It was all smiles, hugs and handshakes on Wednesday as Nashville GM David Poile re-introduced Alexander Radulov to the media at Bridgestone Arena:

After Poile and Radulov talked about their excitement levels, reconciliation and shared desire to win, the two got down to brass tacks — namely, rumors that Radulov’s NHL release was contingent upon returning to the KHL.

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There have been reports Radulov might head back to the KHL after playing in Nashville’s final nine games and the playoffs. Poile said his understanding is Radulov has no obligations to his KHL team to return.

Radulov said the same.

“There’s been a lot of talking about it,” he said. “I didn’t say anything. I didn’t promise anything to anybody. I got an opportunity to move from Russia this summer, so that’s about it.”

Poile said his goal is to have “this relationship last longer than these last nine games and the playoffs.”

“Probably the story’s not over because we don’t know,” he said. “We don’t know how good he’s going to be, how good he’s going to fit in, how long it’s going to last.”

As for where Radulov will fit in — Predators head coach Barry Trotz skated him alongside David Legwand and Patric Hornqvist, essentially Nashville’s first line. Gabriel Bourque had previously been the LW next to Legwand (15 points in his last 17 games) and Hornqvist (Nashville’s leading goalscorer, with 24.)

According to Josh Cooper of The Tennessean, Bourque will drop to the third line, skating with Andrei Kostitsyn and Nick Spaling.

  1. kitshky - Mar 21, 2012 at 2:56 PM

    True, but if he did promise something to someone …he’d just change his mind whenever he felt it would benefit him.

  2. richie500 - Mar 21, 2012 at 3:13 PM

    This sets a bad precident of “Rent a Player” for the playoffs?

  3. brucewaynewins - Mar 21, 2012 at 3:34 PM

    Off topic: I dunno why but his last name always makes me think of Dracula.

    On topic: I imagine NBC is hoping the Western Conference finals is not STL vs Nash.

    One of them fine but not both.

    Sorta on topic: It’s nice to see some markets that are neglected or hurting doing well right now: Nashville, STL, Dallas, etc.

    • gekkoguy82 - Mar 21, 2012 at 3:56 PM

      I don’t know, Stl/Nash final would be pretty awesome for their respective markets…lots of fans traveling the short distance between the cities for games would make things a lot of fun. I guess I can see how TV big wigs may not be thrilled though since those in Canada and elsewhere in the West would care less. I say screw ’em though, it’s about the fans and the game and the teams involved.

      As an aside, I wouldn’t say that Nashville is hurting as a market right now, quite the opposite in fact. It’s thriving. There’s just a lot of closed minded folks in larger fan bases who choose to overlook that fact and are sometimes vocal about it, sadly.

    • vshehane - Mar 21, 2012 at 4:14 PM

      Nashville may be neglected but they are definitely not hurting. I think everyone is stuck on a few years ago when attendance was not what we wanted but just try getting a ticket in Nashville right now. We have hovered around 98% occupancy all year. I think if people payed more attention to what is really going on in Nashville we would get a lot more attention. I know this isn’t what many from the North want to hear out of a “non-traditonal” hockey market.

  4. takingbovadasmoney - Mar 21, 2012 at 5:51 PM

    vshehane – wow, throwing out lotsa “we” in your post. You owner the Predators or just a front office member?

    • kitshky - Mar 21, 2012 at 6:50 PM

      Im not agreeing with you on callin out that guy above …but Im kinda with ya. It drives me nuts when broadcasters use the word “we”. Of course people are going to be biased, and for the most part it adds to the excitement of a broadcast when the broadcaster is excited (I”ll take obvious for $400 Alex) but seriously … at least pretend to have some perspective.

  5. takingbovadasmoney - Mar 21, 2012 at 5:53 PM

    gekkoguy – a conference final is good for any home market. They will probably face each other in the semi finals though being 1 and 4 seeds.

  6. takingbovadasmoney - Mar 21, 2012 at 5:57 PM

    Nashville is doing good, not great attendance wise. Too bad they can’t come up with their own chants and have to steal them from Eastern and Midwestern college teams.
    As for the whole rent a player drama, just another way Bettman is trying to prop up his franchises. If Winnipeg were in this situation I doubt the league’s response would be the same.

    • govtminion - Mar 21, 2012 at 6:15 PM

      Come on, you’re seeing this as a conspiracy? Really?

      If any of that crap were true, don’t you think Bettman would be doing something about the Blue Jackets instead?

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