The Montreal Canadiens have been in need of a top-six scorer for years and it seems like they have finally found their man. One of the KHL’s best forwards, 30-year-old Alexander Radulov, has been rumored to be interested in an NHL return for weeks. The Canadiens, much to their credit, were able to lock up his services for at least the near-future as the Russian forward has signed a one-year contract worth $5.75 million. Radulov last played in the NHL in the 2011-12 season with Nashville.
At the NHL level, Radulov has scored 47 goals and 102 points in 154 games with the Nashville Predators. Numbers like that put him in good company, but it’s his KHL statistics that really jump off the page. In 391 KHL games, Radulov has scored 169 goals and totaled 492 points. Averaging 100 points more than a point-per-game will put any player in elite company, especially in a tough League like the KHL.
The Canadiens lacked scoring for much of last season, which didn’t bode well for a team that was sorely missing their franchise goaltender in Carey Price for most of the year. With Radulov in tow, the Canadiens are making a conscious effort to increase their scoring to make Price’s life easier upon his NHL return next season.
Radulov will be reunited with his former Predator’s teammate Shea Weber who was just acquired in a trade that sent PK Subban to the Predators. While the deal was an unpopular one at best within the city of Montreal, the addition of Radulov is a good sign for the team who looks to be re-defining their identity on-the-fly. With Alex Galchenyuk ready to continue his ascent into top-line duties in Montreal, putting him on a line with Radulov could help the young centerman grow. The line of those two forwards together could also help re-acclimate Radulov to the NHL game.