The Nashville Predators are pretty excited about the possible return of Alexander Radulov to the team after spending four seasons away in the KHL. After the NHL made it clear that Radulov’s path was clear to come back to the NHL anytime he wants to, it’s something that has the Predators’ Western Conference rivals a bit perturbed.
James Mirtle of The Globe And Mail caught up with some rival executives in Florida at the GM meetings and some of them are not happy that Radulov essentially gets to come and go as he pleases.
“I understand it from Nashville’s perspective, that they didn’t initiate this,” Blues GM Doug Armstrong said. “The difficult part is from Radulov’s perspective [is] he did. He gets his cake and eats it, too. … From Radulov’s point of view, he wins on all fronts.”
Sounds like a bit of sour grapes there to me.
After all, when Radulov bolted for the KHL these GMs weren’t exactly shedding a tear for the Predators. That said, Preds GM David Poile did things the smart way and never cut off Radulov from their plans. They never sought to terminate his contract and even put him on the team’s clearing list so he’d be eligible for the playoffs this season. If nothing else, Poile comes out looking like the ideal Boy Scout here in being prepared for anything.
We should find out if Radulov is coming back to Nashville today or tomorrow as he’s meeting with KHL officials today.
Controversy just seems to find the Pittsburgh Penguins. Credit Sidney Crosby & Co. for responding with a win on Wednesday.
Crosby generated two pretty goals, including this slam-dunk slapper:
… While Evgeni Malkin‘s overtime-winner stood as the Penguins managed a 4-3 overtime win against the St. Louis Blues tonight.
(You can see Malkin’s OT-clincher in the video above this post.)
Will this win and strong performance from Crosby silence murmurs about his relationship with Mario Lemieux? Probably not, yet it likely turns the volume down in some ways, including killing the “Is he struggling because of distractions” storyline.
You know, at least for a little while. Maybe.
Claude Giroux isn’t the nastiest, most physical captain the Philadelphia Flyers have employed. Even so, he can be feisty at times.
Wednesday showed that, as he clearly wasn’t happy with an earlier Nick Leddy hit, and eventually got the New York Islanders defenseman to drop his gloves.
You can see the fight and the check that inspired that scrap in the video above.
It’s the fourth fight Giroux has been a part of, with his most recent adversary being may his most bitter rival.
Not a heavyweight bout between Giroux and Leddy, mind you, but sometimes it’s amusing to soak in such a rare sight.
Carter Hutton is getting something that might make fellow Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne jealous: goal support.
Still, there was at least one moment where Rinne was likely happy to be on the bench, as Hutton was left flipping during this collision with Buffalo Sabres forward Marcus Foligno:
Remarkably, Hutton remained in the game.
If you’re the type who loves adding to your “hockey players are tough” files, put this under the goalies section.
Check out this incredible shot of that moment:
Update: The Predators held off the Buffalo Sabres to win 3-2.
Tonight was supposed to be about a clash of two Eastern Conference titans who sport arguably the two best goalies in the NHL. That mattered to Montreal Canadiens fans for about half the game against the New York Rangers, give or take a few minutes.
Priorities are now shifting to calling upon higher powers/etc. in hopes that Carey Price is OK.
Mike Condon replaced Price in the third period and … well, people are concerned.
Again, people are pretty worried right now.
Price being replaced isn’t the greatest sign, yet it’s early, so stay tuned for updates. Maybe it will merely be a matter of playing it safe?
Update: The good news is that Montreal won by a significant 5-1 margin.
Yes, that probably isn’t much solace for Habs fans. Agreed.
It sounds like Price re-aggravated his previous injury.