Alexander Radulov

Update: Radulov’s KHL team eliminated, “returning to Nashville” rumors heat up


Following up on yesterday’s rumors that former Predator Alexander Radulov was contemplating a return to Nashville, Puck Daddy’s Dmitry Chesnokov tweeted this after Radulov’s Salavat Yulaev Ufa team was eliminated from Gagarin Cup playoffs:



The loss was a stunner for Salavat Yulaev. The KHL website reports the reigning Gagarin Cup winners were “sensationally knocked out” of the competition, and one would assume this had a lot to do with Radulov being on the roster. He led the KHL in scoring (63 points in 50 games) and was the reigning league MVP after setting a scoring record in 2010-11 (20G-60A-80PTS.)

Will this play a role in Radulov’s potential return to North America? Hard to say. The more important factor might be that — if he does want to fully resume his NHL career — he needs to play out the final year of his entry-level deal with Nashville.

Doing so would allow him to enter free agency, which is a big dangling carrot. Radulov could cash in with a solid end-of-season/playoff performance, especially since this summer’s free agent forward market has thinned out with the likes of Ales Hemsky, Mikhail Grabovski and Tuomo Ruutu all re-upping with their respective clubs.

Blue Jackets’ Wennberg done for night with upper-body injury

Alexander Wennberg, Jay Bouwmeester
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It wouldn’t be a regular season game without a Columbus Blue Jackets injury, right?

OK, the Blue Jackets hope that 2015-16 looks different from the medically challenged mess of last season, but at least one player is banged up tonight.

Alexander Wennberg suffered an upper-body injury and won’t return on Friday, as the team noted.

There’s no word yet regarding how serious the issue might be. It looks like he might have suffered an injury thanks to a Chris Kreider check:

Naturally, the Blue Jackets must hope that this doesn’t begin another trend.

Kings grab goalie insurance by signing Budaj

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 22: Jhonas Enroth #1 and Peter Budaj #31 of the Los Angeles Kings stretch before a game against the Arizona Coyotes at STAPLES Center on September 22, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NHLI via Getty Images)
via Los Angeles Kings
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In slightly less interesting Los Angeles Kings news than the latest in the Mike Richards fiasco, the team handed Peter Budaj a one-year, two-way deal on Friday.

The veteran goalie’s contract pays $575K on the NHL level and $100K in the AHL (though it’s $150K guaranteed), according to Hockey’s Cap.

At the moment, it sounds like Budaj will be third on the Kings’ goalie depth chart. That says as much about how things have been going lately for Los Angeles than Budaj’s work on a PTO.

As noted above, one of the more significant moves in Budaj’s favor came when the New York Islanders claimed Jean-Francois Berube off of waivers this week.

The Kings actually waived Budaj before signing him, so this has to be a relief to a goalie with a fairly robust resume as a backup.

All apologies to Budaj, but it’s probably true that the Kings would prefer not to see him at the NHL level very often in 2015-16.