Hall of Famer Fetisov: Don’t condemn Radulov for NHL return


According to a report from Russian news agency RIA Novosti, former Detroit Red Wings great and Hockey Hall of Famer Slava Fetisov says Alex Radulov shouldn’t be judged for his decision to leave the KHL for the NHL.

“Radulov can decide for himself what to do,” said Fetisov, currently a member of Russia’s Federal Assembly and chairman of the KHL’s Board of Directors.”He was the first to have left there for here, he helped the KHL’s image. We don’t need to discuss who’s right and who’s wrong.

“And we shouldn’t condemn Radulov.”

In the same report, RIA claims that Radulov’s agent, Yuri Nikolaev, “is known to be negotiating” his client’s departure from Salavat Yulaev Ufa, the team Radulov led to the Gagarin Cup championship in 2010-11.

Radulov’s contract with Salavat is set to expire on Apr. 30, though reports suggest the team is exploring options to keep him in Russia. Here’s what Nikolaev told Sovetsky Sport’s Pavel Lysenkov (courtesy Dmitry Chesnokov at Puck Daddy):

“We are talking with Salavat’s management. No one is delaying this matter. But what can you do if the contract runs through April 30? I am pleading to somehow resolve this problem. But I cannot find arguments yet.” Nikolaev told Lysenkov.

It is clear that Radulov wants to leave and the club is indeed willing to let him go. So, what is the hold-up?

“If you think it’s that easy, then open the KHL Regulations. After the start of the playoffs a club cannot unilaterally ‘fire’ a player. Even with a compensation (to the player),”  Nikolaev explained.

“A hockey player can unilaterally terminate his contract, but then he will be subject to sanctions that mean a big sum of money.”

[A player can terminate his contract in the KHL by paying 2/3 of the contract value.]

“But the most reasonable option is for the club and the player to terminate their contract by mutual consent. There are a lot of examples of that happening,”  Nikolaev continued.

But the problem is, according to Nikolaev, that “Salavat Yulaev will lose rights to Radulov [if they agree to terminate the contract]. And it’s not something Ufa wants to do. Alexander can leave for Nashville next season and Salavat will retain his rights. But I haven’t found a mechanism yet to allow Radulov to leave for the NHL right now.”

Nikolaev also stated Radulov won’t consider simply “bolting” Russia, insisting the matter must be resolved in a legally sound way.

Vatrano presence: Bruins edge Red Wings in overtime

Frank Vatrano David Krejci
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The Boston Bruins keep flipping the script.

In Wednesday’s case, it swerved to a “Cinderella” story, as little-known forward Frank Vatrano scored two of Boston’s three goals – including the overtime clincher – as the B’s beat the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 (OT).

Here’s his first goal of the night:

While this is his overtime game-winner:

It wasn’t a perfect night for the 21-year-old, yet it may have been a convincing one.

The Bruins continue to begin a month on a sour note before ending up with impressive sprees.

October: 0-3-0 start, finished month with four straight wins and victories in six of seven contests.

November: 0-3-0 start, losses in four of five; currently on a four-game winning strek with victories in five of six.

Boston faces a challenge in closing this month out against the Rangers on Friday, and it’s possible that this trend may continue, as they begin December with a three-game road trip through Western Canada.

More than anything else, the safest bet with the Bruins is for ups and downs.

Crosby roars, Malkin scores in OT for Penguins win

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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.

Fight video: Claude Giroux vs. Nick Leddy

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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.

Update: The fight may have inspired the Islanders more than the Flyers, as they bested Philly 3-1 on Wednesday.

Carter Hutton gets flipped, stays in game

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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.