Alexander Radulov

Report: Detroit “fuming” over Radulov return


On Tuesday, ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun shed some light on reactions to Alexander Radulov’s return to the NHL. The Russian forward is projected to soon become a member of the Nashville Predators, something a few NHLers weighed in on.

Washington’s Joel Ward said Radulov would be “an asset” while Alex Ovechkin said he’s “probably the biggest star” in the KHL. One of the most intriguing responses, though, came from Detroit’s Pavel Datsyuk.

“I know he’s a good guy and good player too,” Datsyuk told ESPN. “Lots of skill. He’s one of best KHL players for [the] last three years.

“Big help for Nashville Predators. Not good for us.”

That comment led LeBrun to reveal the following:

Datsyuk nailed it at the end of his comment there, saying “not good for us.” The way the Wings are playing right now, and with a first-round date against Nashville likely at this point, no wonder the Wings’ organization was privately fuming last week when the NHL announced its Radulov decision.

The Wings experienced a similar situation in 2010 when forward Jiri Hudler announced he was leaving the KHL to return to Detroit. In 2009, Hudler spurned a two-year, arbitrator-awarded deal to sign with Dynamo Moscow…a club that would eventually fold.

The issue? Even though Dynamo released Hudler on Apr. 18 — five days after the NHL playoffs began — he was ineligible for postseason play because he was not on the Wings’ roster prior to the March trade deadline.

Obviously, Hudler’s case is different from Radulov’s. Hudler left at the end of his contract (meaning Detroit retained his rights) whereas Radulov left during his (meaning he owed Nashville a year of service). Yet the Red Wings organization is still privately seething about this, especially with rumors that Radulov will head back to the KHL next season.

Detroit isn’t the only organization upset with Radulov’s return. St. Louis Blues GM Doug Armstrong claimed Radulov’s case became a contentious debate at the GM meetings in Boca Raton, saying Radulov “gets his cake and eats it, too.”

Oilers get Kronwall’d – in more ways than one

Niklas Kronwall
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When someone gets clobbered by Niklas Kronwall, they get Kronwall’d.

(His detractors may insist that the definition require the words “dirty” or “illegal,” but that’s a debate for another day.)

It’s easy to get lost in those thunderous hits and forget that the  Swedish defenseman also brings some skill to the table.

He made a big impact – literally and figuratively – in Detroit’s 4-3 overtime win against the Edmonton Oilers on Friday.

First, the Kronwalling:

Next, Kronwall’s overtime-winner:

It hasn’t always been pretty, but the Red Wings are leaning on guys like Kronwall and Dylan Larkin to stick with it.

Tonight’s win extends their point streak to six games (4-0-2), with five of those contests going to overtime.

Dubinsky – Crosby’s nemesis – gets the last laugh on Friday

Sidney Crosby, Brandon Dubinsky

Brandon Dubinsky isn’t a household name like Sidney Crosby is, yet for all the hype that Crosby vs. Alex Ovechkin gets, Dubinsky is the sort of guy who truly rankles No. 87.

It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.

To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:

The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)

That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:

They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.

Even Dubinsky kind of sort of admits that he may have been in the wrong.


More and more, the Blue Jackets are looking like a nuisance … possibly one that will grind their way to an unlikely playoff berth. They improved to 8-4-0 in November after a disastrous 2-10-0 October.

In other words, there’s at least a chance that we may see these increasingly bitter rivals butt heads in another playoff series.

Eichel’s sweet snipe helps Sabres snap six-game skid

Jack Eichel
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The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.

You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.

That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:

Call this a healthy reminder that Eichel has the ability to change games, something Buffalo fans hope to get used to.

Report: Likely no suspension for Matt Beleskey’s hit on Derek Stepan


Alain Vigneault went there in comparing Matt Beleskey‘s hit on Derek Stepan to the notorious check Aaron Rome delivered on Nathan Horton many moons ago, but the league seems to disagree.

While Rome sat through that memorable Stanley Cup Final between Boston and Vancouver, it sounds like Beleskey won’t face any further discipline, according to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun.

In the unlikely event that anything changes, PHT will make note.

The next game between the Rangers and Bruins takes place at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 11. Will these bad feelings linger?