After Alexander Radulov‘s much-ballyhooed return to the NHL near the end of the season, in which he played for the Nashville Predators for nine regular season games and put up three goals and four assists in that span, things started to fall apart and now the Preds are looking to leave him behind.
Nashville wants to shop him around next month–he’s due to become a restricted free agent–but he does come with baggage. Suspended for a game during the Predators’ conference semifinal series against the Phoenix Coyotes because he and Andrei Kostitsyn were seen partying in Scottsdale after the team curfew, he ended up sitting out the next game as well.
Still, he is talented: he’s the all-time leading scorer in Russia’s KHL, plus he has KHL records for most career assists, highest plus-minus rating and most points in a single season. But Nashville’s front office has just decided he isn’t a good fit for the Predators any more.
The New York Rangers might be interested in him, although reportedly they have been hedging their bets and considering other options that could become available next month, players like Zach Parise and Rick Nash.
If Radulov wanted to, he could probably easily jump back to the KHL. Their CSKA Moscow team has expressed interest in taking him along with Alexander Semin from the Washington Capitals. The fact that the KHL has made getting interested Russian NHL players on their teams by allowing one player on each team who will not count against the salary cap may make such a ‘get’ even more attractive for CSKA.
However, Radulov may want to remain in North America and seek out a different NHL team. He could wait until some of the trading frenzy that will begin later this month and continue through mid-July dies down, though, and teams desperately need a right-winger.
But wherever he goes next, it might do his team well to keep an eye on him and make sure he minds his curfew.
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