Radulov Fuels Speculation, Did Not Report to National Team

Alexander Radulov has created a buzz over the last few weeks with speculation that he may be returning to the NHL. In fact, the notion presented itself back in November when he reportedly turned down a contract extension to remain with HC CSKA Moscow.

This morning, there were rumblings that he would not report to the Russian National Team. Two hours later, those rumblings were confirmed.

Radulov, formerly of the Nashville Predators, left the NHL in less-than-desirable fashion in 2008. According to Radulov, it boiled down to wanting a new contract from the Predators, similar to Evgeni Malkin’s extension in Pittsburgh in terms of having it completed a year before his current deal expired, and the Predators offered no such thing.

He jetted for the KHL, played out his contract there and then returned to Nashville in 2011-12 for nine regular season games and their playoff run. During that short stint with the Predators, he and fellow Russian forward Andrei Kostitsyn were suspended for game three of the Western Conference semi-finals.

The Predators released the following statement regarding that suspension…

The Nashville Predators have a few simple rules centered around doing the right things. We have always operated with a team-first mentality and philosophy. Violating team rules is not fair to our team and their teammates.

Following the NHL playoffs, Radulov once again signed a contract to play in the KHL. The contract he signed in 2012 with HC CSKA Moscow has now expired and all indications are that he plans to return to North America.

Whether or not Radulov finds a suitor in the NHL remains to be seen but his skill is impossible to overlook. He has been linked to the Predators, as well as the Colorado Avalanche. Although, recent reports that he wants to play for a contender doesn’t necessarily align with the Avalanche rumors.

In 154 NHL games, he recorded 47 goals and 102 total points. Throughout his KHL career, he recorded 169 goals and 492 points through 391 games. A points-per-game average of 1.26.