To Rad or not to Rad: That is the question…
Is it possible that you haven’t heard yet that KHL star Alexander Radulov is flirting with a return to the NHL (for the 3rd year in a row)? If so, here is what you missed. Over the next day or so a decision is expected to be made by the Russian Forward who bolted for the mother land with 1 year remaining on his entry level contract with the Nashville Predators.
The path has been cleared for his return by both leagues & now the decision rests completely on the shoulders of Radulov. The Preds have maintained a consistent message since this situation began nearly 4 years ago with GM David Poile saying that he has a contract & we expect him to fulfill it. That patience may be about to pay off, as the Preds are ready to make a run in the playoffs (hopefully deep). Playing any regular season games would allow Radulov to fulfill the final year of his current NHL contract at $980,000 & would make him eligible for the post season roster.
At the end of the entry level contract, Radulov will become an RFA (Restricted Free Agent) with the Predators having first signing rights that could lead to a host of possibilities from offer sheets to trade proposals. It would not be a surprise at all that after almost 4 years of thinking about it, that GM Poile would have an extension ready & waiting to go for the former 1st round pick.
Anything could happen regarding this most unusual situation & it is impossible to predict. If Radulov decides to return to Nashville, he could be in the lineup within a week as he just wrapped up a full season including 1 round of playoffs in Russia & should be in game shape. Does the best player outside the NHL joining the Predators make them a lock to win it all? We will find out soon as the playoffs are only 3 weeks away!