Interesting post here by Puck Daddy’s Dmitry Chesnokov, who finds reason to believe Alexander Radulov could return to the NHL next season.
Some background: Radulov was drafted 15th overall in 2004 by the Predators. He played two seasons in Nashville, scoring 26 goals as an NHL sophomore in 2006-07, after which he controversially bolted to the KHL to play for Salavat Yulaev Ufa.
Radulov’s put up big numbers in the KHL. In 2010-11, he led all players with 80 points in 54 games and was named the league’s MVP.
But perhaps he’s ready to return to the best league in the world.
In an interview with the KHL’s official magazine Hot Ice, Radulov said, “I am not going to say anything about the NHL because actually I never closed the door on the idea of playing there. As far as Salavat Yulaev is concerned, I have a contract with the team for this year and the next. However, it actually contains [a clause] with a possibility of early termination…I am not ruling out anything. Because if there are offers, we will consider them.”
Of note, the 25-year-old winger has a year remaining on his entry-level deal with the Predators; however, Chesnokov speculates Radulov could avoid the last year of his NHL contract and sign a fresh deal, a la Alex Semin’s return from Russia in 2006.
Back in May when speculation first arose that Radulov could be returning to the NHL, Predators GM David Poile confirmed to Nashville’s City Paper that the two sides had spoken.
“[He says] he can get out of his contract,” Poile said. “I don’t know what he wants to do. … We [told] him … we can trade his rights, but he said, ‘No, no. I want to play in Nashville.’”