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Preds coach is waiting to “see the whites of young Radulov’s eyes” (Updated with GM quote)


Barry Trotz has heard all about Alexander Radulov’s potential return to the Nashville Predators: however, despite being the coach of the team, he says he has no idea if it’ll happen.

“Until I see the whites of young Radulov’s eyes, I won’t prepare for it because that’s the what if – if I won the lottery type thing,” Trotz said today, as per The Tennessean. “Yesterday a couple of people tweeted me or phoned me and asked me if he’s coming back? (Shoot) if I know.”

Radulov, 25, led the KHL in scoring in 2011-12 (63 points in 50 games) before his Salavat Yulaev Ufa team was eliminated from the playoffs.

He was also the league’s top scorer (and MVP) last year, racking up 80 points in 54 games.

Looks terrifying, too.

Update (5:59 p.m. ET)

As reported by The Tennessean, Preds GM David Poile says the ball is entirely in Radulov’s court.

“We’ve had more meetings than I’d like to remember in terms of talking to Rad or to his agent, and it’s really up to him,” Poile said. “We laid all the groundwork for him to come back, whenever that is going to be. But I think the groundwork has been laid over the last couple of years, and it has been available to take that opportunity. He’s the one who’s going to have to make that decision. I think I’ve been consistent since the day he left that he will eventually come back and play for the Nashville Predators and play in the NHL, the best league in the world.

“I’ve always felt he’s a player who wanted to compare himself to better players in the world, and I believe he wants to win a Stanley Cup in his career. I’ve always said he’s going to come back. The timing would be good for him and for us. You’re going to have to talk to him to see whether this is going to happen or not.”