There is an assumption that Alexander Radulov’s potential return can only be a good thing for the Nashville Predators and it’s not hard to see why. Radulov is a tremendous talent who had 58 points in his sophomore NHL season back in 2007-08 before dominating in the KHL. If he were to join the Predators now, it’s not much of a stretch to say that he could even be their points leader in the playoffs.
Still, that doesn’t mean that there’s not a potential downside if Radulov decides to join the Predators at this stage of the season to try and win a Stanley Cup.
“It takes away from the guys we have on the team when we talk about other guys coming in, and guys who have been here all year and worked hard all year,” Predators defenseman Ryan Suter said. “It’s going to be a fine line we’re going to have to walk if he does come back.”
Suter, who is among the seven Nashville players on the roster that played with Radulov during his original NHL stint, thinks it will ultimately be fine. Still, it does underscore one of the ways Radulov joining the team could potentially be problematic.
Suter went onto say, “He’s a great player. It’s too bad that he left us kind of hanging there, but, he is a good player.”
It would be interesting to see how much that sentiment is shared by the others who have played with Radulov before. As good of a person as Radulov might be, he is the same guy that left the team while under contract to play in Russia. It’s not hard to believe that the Predators players will ultimately do their best to put that behind them if Radulov decides to join the team. Even so, team chemistry matters and it remains to be seen how the addition of Radulov would alter it.