Predators need to walk a “fine line” if Radulov returns


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.

Dropping like flies: Johnson, Killorn hurt in Bolts’ exhibition

Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game One
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You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.

We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.

“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.

These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.

Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.

It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.

Raffi Torres gets match penalty for being Raffi Torres

Raffi Torres

With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.

It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.

Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:

It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).

As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.

Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:

This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.

Update: Bullet dodged?