Radulov Poile

Radulov on rumored KHL return: “I didn’t promise anything to anybody”


It was all smiles, hugs and handshakes on Wednesday as Nashville GM David Poile re-introduced Alexander Radulov to the media at Bridgestone Arena:

After Poile and Radulov talked about their excitement levels, reconciliation and shared desire to win, the two got down to brass tacks — namely, rumors that Radulov’s NHL release was contingent upon returning to the KHL.

More, from NHL.com:

There have been reports Radulov might head back to the KHL after playing in Nashville’s final nine games and the playoffs. Poile said his understanding is Radulov has no obligations to his KHL team to return.

Radulov said the same.

“There’s been a lot of talking about it,” he said. “I didn’t say anything. I didn’t promise anything to anybody. I got an opportunity to move from Russia this summer, so that’s about it.”

Poile said his goal is to have “this relationship last longer than these last nine games and the playoffs.”

“Probably the story’s not over because we don’t know,” he said. “We don’t know how good he’s going to be, how good he’s going to fit in, how long it’s going to last.”

As for where Radulov will fit in — Predators head coach Barry Trotz skated him alongside David Legwand and Patric Hornqvist, essentially Nashville’s first line. Gabriel Bourque had previously been the LW next to Legwand (15 points in his last 17 games) and Hornqvist (Nashville’s leading goalscorer, with 24.)

According to Josh Cooper of The Tennessean, Bourque will drop to the third line, skating with Andrei Kostitsyn and Nick Spaling.

Welcome back, Babs: Red Wings chase Bernier

Mike Babcock
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Mike Babcock admitted that there might be a painful transformation as he tries to fix the Toronto Maple Leafs.

His old friends made that abundantly, painfully clear on Friday.

As of this writing, the Detroit Red Wings are up 4-0 on the Buds. Justin Abdelkader just completed a hat trick with James Reimer in net, so the subplot isn’t just about Jonathan Bernier having another tough start.

The big story might just be Detroit’s varied new line of Abdelkader, Dylan Larkin (who scored his first career goal) and Henrik Zetterberg. At the moment, they’ve combined for seven points.

This post will be updated if Detroit’s tribute video to Babcock surfaces.

Really, though, this beating has been about as ugly as this blanket so far.

Blue Jackets’ Wennberg done for night with upper-body injury

Alexander Wennberg, Jay Bouwmeester
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It wouldn’t be a regular season game without a Columbus Blue Jackets injury, right?

OK, the Blue Jackets hope that 2015-16 looks different from the medically challenged mess of last season, but at least one player is banged up tonight.

Alexander Wennberg suffered an upper-body injury and won’t return on Friday, as the team noted.

There’s no word yet regarding how serious the issue might be. It looks like he might have suffered an injury thanks to a Chris Kreider check:

Naturally, the Blue Jackets must hope that this doesn’t begin another trend.