The Montreal Canadiens will be without one of their best players on Saturday night against the New York Rangers because Alexander Radulov will be sidelined due to a lower body injury.
The Canadiens announced the injury on Saturday afternoon just a few hours before puck drop.
Along with Radulov, the Canadiens announced that Michael McCarron will also be out of the lineup. In their place will be recent additions Steve Ott and Andreas Martinsen, both of whom were added at the NHL trade deadline as part of the Canadiens’ continued efforts to add physicality and grit to their lineup.
Both Ott and Martinsen will be making their debuts with the team.
But the big story here is the absence of Radulov.
After signing a one-year deal with the Canadiens in free agency following a five-year stop in the KHL, he has been one of the team’s best and most creative forwards this season and is currently second on the team in scoring with 46 points (15 goals, 31 assists) in 63 games. So much emphasis was put on the Canadiens’ offseason moves to bring in players like Shea Weber and Andrew Shaw, but the single biggest addition the team made over the summer was getting Radulov on a one-year, $5.75 million contract. His performance this season is going to make him an attractive target if he gets to the unrestricted free agent market again this summer.