Update: Radulov’s KHL team eliminated, “returning to Nashville” rumors heat up
Following up on yesterday’s rumors that former Predator Alexander Radulov was contemplating a return to Nashville, Puck Daddy’s Dmitry Chesnokov tweeted this after Radulov’s Salavat Yulaev Ufa team was eliminated from Gagarin Cup playoffs:
The loss was a stunner for Salavat Yulaev. The KHL website reports the reigning Gagarin Cup winners were “sensationally knocked out” of the competition, and one would assume this had a lot to do with Radulov being on the roster. He led the KHL in scoring (63 points in 50 games) and was the reigning league MVP after setting a scoring record in 2010-11 (20G-60A-80PTS.)
Will this play a role in Radulov’s potential return to North America? Hard to say. The more important factor might be that -- if he does want to fully resume his NHL career -- he needs to play out the final year of his entry-level deal with Nashville.
Doing so would allow him to enter free agency, which is a big dangling carrot. Radulov could cash in with a solid end-of-season/playoff performance, especially since this summer’s free agent forward market has thinned out with the likes of Ales Hemsky, Mikhail Grabovski and Tuomo Ruutu all re-upping with their respective clubs.