Russian hockey star Alexander Radulov plans to return to the NHL for the 2016-17 season, according to multiple reports.
Radulov, who will turn 30 in July, does not have the best reputation in North America given his tumultuous history in the NHL.
Drafted by the Nashville Predators in 2004, Radulov played two seasons in the NHL before returning to his native Russia in 2008 after signing a deal in the KHL. The problem? He was still under contract with the Predators. He returned to Nashville in 2012 near the end of the regular season then went back to the KHL after the Predatores decided not to extend his contract.
Well, I hope you're ready for NHL Radulov 2.0
Alexander Radulov confirms he will play in the #NHL next season— Igor Eronko (@IgorEronko) April 29, 2016
When trying to figure out where Radulov may go, you can go ahead and cross the Captials off that list given his history with Caps' head coach Barry Trotz who was Radulov's coach in Nashville.
Radulov's first return was a disaster even with six points in eight playoff games. He and Predators teammate Andrei Kostitsyn were caught breaking curfew the night before a playoff game and were suspended for the next game after Trotz found out.
When speaking at the time about the suspension, Trotz said, "We did not know before Game 2 [that Radulov and Kostitsyn broke curfew], we found out after Game 2, and hell would've had to freeze over if they would've played in Game 2...if I knew before."
Needless to say, Nashville chose not to extend Radulov's contract after the season. The idea of a Trotz-Radulov reunion feels about as likely as Wayne Gretzky coming out of retirment.
Where could Radulov go? The early speculation is Colorado as Patrick Roy was Radulov's junior coach in the QMJHL. If there was a coach willing to give the mercurial Russian another shot at the NHL, it would probably be Roy.
If you're hoping to see Radulov playing with Alex Ovechkin, however, chances are you'll have to wait for the World Cup of Hockey. Assumng Radulov makes the roster for Team Russia, that is.