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Report: Radulov won’t be making that NHL comeback after all

Ice Hockey - Winter Olympics Day 9 - Russia v Slovakia

SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 16: Alexander Radulov #47 of Russia celebrates after scoring a goal in a shoot out against Jan Laco #50 of Slovakia during the Men’s Ice Hockey Preliminary Round Group A game on day nine of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Bolshoy Ice Dome on February 16, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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It seemed as though Alexander Radulov had his heart set on coming back to the NHL for the 2016-17 season, but things appear to have changed.

According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, the free agent forward has reportedly signed a contract with Salavat in the KHL.

Don’t be surprised if money was the issue here. Earlier this month, a report surfaced saying that Radulov was looking for close to $7.5 million per season from an NHL team. With question marks surrounding his desire and work-ethic, it’s no surprise that teams weren’t willing to pay that price to bring him into the fold.

Salavat’s GM has since denied the report:

Radulov, now 29, last played in the NHL with the Nashville Predators during the 2011-12 season. He put up three goals and seven points in nine regular season games and added six points in eight playoff games. The skill has always been there, but his commitment hasn’t. During that playoff run in 2012, he was suspended for breaking curfew.

As a free agent, it seems like there were multiple teams, including Detroit, that were interested in his services. After all, acquiring a goalscorer without having to give up any assets in return will always be interesting. In this case, the price just wasn’t right.

He had 23 goals and 65 points in 53 games with CSKA Moscow in 2015-16.