Speculation abounds Nashville Predators prodigal son Alexander Radulov could return to the club this season, but that is not a certainty.
USATODAY.COM: Kevin Allen reports it would be a financial benefit to Alexander Radulov, whose KHL team was recently eliminated from playoff competition, to return to the Nashville Predators this season, for it he were to play any portion of this NHL regular season, it would be considered fulfilling the final season of his entry-level contract with the club. If he waited to return next fall, he’d have to play out the entire season for under $1 million before he could qualify for RFA status. Allen suggests Radulov’s return could benefit the Predators, for if it contributed to a lengthy playoff run,it might help convince RFA Shea Weber and UFA Ryan Suter to remain.
THE TENNESSEAN: Josh Cooper yesterday reported Radulov’s agent, Jay Grossman, said there was no change in his client’s status as of Friday afternoon. Cooper also reported Predators management would welcome back Radulov and have laid the groundwork over the past two years, but it’s up to him to make the first move.
CANOE.CA: Kevin Dube reported Radulov said time would tell regarding his future with Salavat Yulaev Ufa of the KHL. Grossman confirmed there’d been plenty of speculation over his client’s future, but for now, talk of his return to the Predators is just rumors. Dube noted that, because Radulov still has one year remaining on his entry-level contract with the Predators, he wouldn’t have to clear waivers to rejoin them.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Radulov’s KHL team has done a good job keeping him in Russia by making him the league’s highest paid player, but at 26, he’s now a big fish in a small pond, and having made considerable millions, returning for the final month of this season to the Predators to burn off that final year he owes them on an entry-level deal certainly makes sense.
Radulov’s return to the Predators now certainly could provide them with a significant offensive boost heading into the playoffs, increasing their chances for a lengthy playoff run.
Then again, we shouldn’t discount the possibility Radulov is using this situation to get a better deal from the KHL. We’ve heard so much speculation each year over Radulov returning to the Predators, only to see it come to nothing. Until it’s officially reported that he’s coming back this season, as his agent said, it’s only just rumors at this point.