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Preds drop Radulov, Kostitsyn from Game 3 lineup for rules violation

May 1, 2012, 12:27 PM EDT

Alexander Radulov, Andrei Kostitsyn

Some huge news out of Nashville today as GM David Poile announced Preds forwards Alexander Radulov and Andrei Kostitsyn will not play in Game 3 of their Western Conference semifinal against Phoenix after violating team rules.

UPDATE: Cam Cole of the Vancouver Sun tweets “Radulov and Kostitsyn spotted in bar in Scottsdale past midnight [on Saturday], before 5pm Game 2 loss. Team was staying in Glendale, 45 minutes away.”

UPDATE 2: John Shannon of Sportsnet said the pair was spotted out at 4am.

“The Nashville Predators have a few simple rules centered around doing the right things,” Poile said in a statement on the team’s website. “We have always operated with a team-first mentality and philosophy. Violating team rules is not fair to our team and their teammates.”

The Predators haven’t spoken as to what the rule violations were (and let’s be honest, nobody expects them to) but it’s likely Poile and head coach Barry Trotz will face a bevvy of questions following today’s practice at Centennial Sportsplex.

As for what we know:

Radulov was lambasted by NHL on NBC analysts Keith Jones and Jeremy Roenick following a woeful Game 2 performance, critiques that Trotz said Radulov “absolutely” deserved.

— Kostitsyn has been one of the better Nashville players through two games against Phoenix. He’s scored twice, has a plus-1 rating and was featured prominently on the Predators power play.

— Nashville rolled the following lines at today’s practice:

Sergei KostitsynMike FisherMartin Erat

Gabriel BourqueDavid LegwandPatric Hornqvist

Brandon YipNick SpalingCraig Smith

Matt HalischukPaul GaustadJordin Tootoo

Andrei KostitsynBrian McGrattanAlex Radulov

As Dirk Hoag of On The Forecheck writes: “[They] seemed hilarious at first, but are now much less funny.”

— Josh Cooper of The Tennessean reports that Poile called it “selfish behavior” on the part of Radulov and Kostitsyn.

“Our creed is always to try to do the right thing,” Poile said. “I try to do that in my personal life, so I should try to do it in my business life, and we’ve just done the right thing. We put the team ahead of a couple of individual players and we’ll see where we go from there.”

— For a little history lesson on how these sorts of incidents can tear teams apart, check out this AP article from the 1988 “Goose Loonies” fiasco that derailed the Detroit Red Wings’ playoff run.

— You can also read the tell-all excerpt from then-Wings GM Jim Devellano, who called it “an ugly day in our history,” that “really cost our franchise dearly.”

  1. wingsdjy - May 1, 2012 at 12:31 PM

    At first, I thought this was just a clever excuse to send a message to Radulov, but with A. Kostitsyn also being named, something must have really happened. Broken curfew? A few too many drinks at the bar?

  2. weenerman - May 1, 2012 at 12:31 PM

    Makes no difference since Radulov hasn’t bothered showing so far this series.

    • govtminion - May 1, 2012 at 12:32 PM

      Addition by subtraction, if anything.

    • bcisleman - May 1, 2012 at 1:24 PM

      But Kostitsyn has…and maybe this will be the wakeup call Radulov needs.

  3. buffalowned - May 1, 2012 at 12:32 PM

    Russians..what else would you expect

    • dsd3 - May 1, 2012 at 1:42 PM

      Kostitsyn isn’t Russian. Get a clue.

      • stoneegratz - May 1, 2012 at 4:36 PM

        belarus aka former soviet union aka russia aka mother russia

  4. vshehane - May 1, 2012 at 12:34 PM

    I knew there had to be Vodka involved.

  5. dahutz - May 1, 2012 at 12:34 PM

    hopefully AK46 went after Rads for his complete lack of effort in this series so far. maybe he punched Rads right in his sh!t-eating grin.

  6. capsfan19 - May 1, 2012 at 12:37 PM

    Radulov is garbage. Shouldnt even have been allowed to come back. Maybe its karma. Like alot of guys on the preds but im pulling for the more “blue collar” team (they loved saying that last year about the preds during the playoffs) the yotes). Shane doan is a beast and mike smith is playing like a mother bear protecting her cubs!!

  7. mgp1219 - May 1, 2012 at 12:43 PM

    Radulov came over here to collect another paycheck, not to actually play the game with passion.

    • jpelle82 - May 1, 2012 at 1:30 PM

      in typical russian fashion

      • dsd3 - May 1, 2012 at 1:42 PM

        Shut up.

  8. drewzducks - May 1, 2012 at 1:23 PM

    Stay thirsty my friends.

    • govtminion - May 1, 2012 at 2:03 PM

      I don’t always score goals… but when I do…

      …actually, I don’t score goals. Another Dos Equis please!

  9. philly4lyfe - May 1, 2012 at 1:37 PM

    Banish them both to dry island!

  10. smgraff4 - May 1, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    They drank before the game–which is a lot worse than having a few drinks after the game. The KHL would not WANT Radulov back–particularly on a team that has its sights set on the Gargarin Cup every year.

    This is very much like the “chicken and beer” scenario in Boston last year. But it feels more like the drama surrounding a footballer like Adrian Mutu, arguably one of the best players in recent memory from Romania. Mutu initially came into Chelsea from Parma (on something like a $20 million transfer) and scored a ton of goals. But then his goal-scoring pace dramatically declined and he got into spats with Jose Mourinho, who at the time was Chelsea’s manager. He also tested positive for cocaine during the season (one of the few players who tested positive whose name has been leaked). What got Mutu into trouble with Mourinho was the drugs and the partying. Because of his cocaine use (and other things he had done at Chelsea), Chelsea wanted to terminate his contract. That fight became contentious.And eventually, Mutu moved to Juventus and a few years later to Fiorentina. During his time at those clubs, he continued to get into trouble, and tested positive for doping. Because Italy had doping police, he could not compete in any FIFA-sanctioned competition for a year.

    The man is also still $17 million in debt at a minimum because Chelsea are still demanding to be repaid. The lesson should be that if Radulov and Kostitsyn get their act together, then they should be fine. If they don’t, they will be doing the same things later on–whether it be in Russia, Nashville, or Montreal, or Los Angeles. There is a reason why “club culture” matters, and fixing problems like this before they take over an entire locker room/team (particularly in times of adversity).

    • spiffy53 - May 1, 2012 at 2:21 PM

      i think they said the pair were spotted at 4am. technically, before the game, but in reality still out from the night before.

  11. sabatimus - May 1, 2012 at 2:22 PM

    This is a complete non-story—for Bud Selig ;p

  12. vshehane - May 1, 2012 at 2:49 PM

    This won’t be a major problem for the Preds, in fact, it may be good. The team survived quite nicely most of the season before they arrived. I am glad the team took this step.

  13. letsgopreds35 - May 1, 2012 at 3:29 PM

    looks like we will see yip,spalling,smith and halischuck,gaustad,tootoo. I think this change will be great. oh and by the way get a clue, kostitsyn is Russian

    • dsd3 - May 1, 2012 at 3:40 PM

      He’s from Belarus, not Russia. They are not the same country.

      • stoneegratz - May 1, 2012 at 4:38 PM

        belarus is part of the former soviet union which means the kostitsyns parents are russian, which means they are russian

  14. cweez2 - May 1, 2012 at 3:59 PM

    That’s what you get for hiring temp help.

  15. thehighcountrybear - May 1, 2012 at 4:13 PM

    It’ll be good to see Tootoo on the ice…he might actually bring a bit of excitement to the otherwise sleepy Predators [ say Alex, gimme another jar of that stuff you call turpentine ]? One has to laugh all the same; Poile getting bitten by his own avarice in manipulating the Radulov move to the stunned amazement of every other GM in the league. Looks like the wheels are coming off the hillbilly express: after blowing their collective wads getting by a disinterested Red Wings bunch, they’ve got no legs, no heart and no brains as they shamble down Stanley’s silver Cup road…some call it the Legwand effect?

  16. thehighcountrybear - May 1, 2012 at 5:01 PM

    Don’t diss on the Ruskies and don’t make fun of their grey, drab and unimaginative architecture or they’ll come and build their grey, drab and unimaginative architecture in a neighborhood near you! I hardly think players in the NHL breaking curfew or tossing a few back is world-breaking news: relevance of such misdeeds to race, color or creed is the greater absurdity…get a life? You’ve got young men, bored stiff by the NHL grind looking to get some jollies…it happens every night to every team, bar none [ a little play on words there ]! Perhaps the bible study and crocheting seminar was over-booked, who knows…

  17. wisbadgers - May 1, 2012 at 8:29 PM

    NEWSFLASH: The bartender is a huge Phoenix Coyotes fan. Well played Mr. Bartender….well played!!!!

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