Dmitry Chesnokov (Puck Daddy/TSN) brings us the latest on the Alexander Radulov-to-Nashville saga:
In 2010, Radulov signed a two-year extension with Salavat (with one year left on his initial contract.) It was a surprising move — many thought he’d want back in the NHL after his first tour of the KHL was up.
Chesnokov explained the logic behind Radulov’s extension on Puck Daddy that same year:
What was the reason behind staying in the KHL? [Radulov’s Russian agent Yuri ] Nikolaev explained:
“Let’s look at it from the point of view of Radulov’s careers. The CBA between the NHL and the NHLPA will expire in the next couple of years. If Radulov’s contract expired next year, he would have one more year to wait until the new CBA in North America.
The NHLPA now has new people with their new vision of things, and no one understands when and how the new CBA is going to be signed and what may happen if the new CBA is not signed in time.
That’s why we decided to wait and see what is going to happen over there, and what CBA will be signed. And then we will have a choice.”
Radulov decided to extend his contract in the KHL to cover a possible lockout. His agent confirmed that the player didn’t consider coming back to the NHL until the new CBA is signed.
At some point, Radulov made the decision to head back to North America at the end of the 2011-12 KHL season rather than wait for the NHL to sign a new CBA. Why? Well, one would think it has to do with playing out his final year of his entry-level deal with Nashville, which would allow him to become a free agent this summer.
Theoretically speaking, Radulov could cash in with a solid end-of-season/playoff performance with the Preds — especially since this summer’s FA forward market has thinned out with the likes of Ales Hemsky, Mikhail Grabovski and Tuomo Ruutu all re-upping with their respective clubs.