Winger Alexander Radulov (right) has blossomed in the KHL, becoming a two-time scoring champion. (Yuliya Dmitrieva/KHL Photo Agency via Getty Images)
By Stu Hackel
We should learn more shortly about Alexander Radulov who — according to his Russian agent — seems headed back to the NHL. His arrival is anticipated this week, maybe within the next 24 hours. So far, however, there have been no confirmations from the Predators, who own his rights, or his agent, Jay Grossman, who has been silent in his Twitter account and elsewhere, that this is a done deal. They all seem to be heeding the advice of actor Ian McShane who, as Al Swearengen on the TV series Deadwood, said, “Announcin’ your plans is a good way to hear God laugh.”
UPDATE: Radulov joined the Predators on Wednesday and practiced with them for the first time, playing on a line with David Legwand and Patric Hornqvist. He also practiced on the second power play unit on a line with Legwand and Andrei Kostitsyn with Ryan Ellis and Sergie Kostitsyn on the points. It’s uncertain whether he’ll play in the next Nashville game Thursday in Pittsburgh.
Earlier this week, the most Predators GM David Poile would say was this gingerly worded statement released on Monday afternoon: “We have been in contact with Jay Grossman, Alexander’s agent, throughout this process of trying to return Alexander to the Predators and the NHL. Though the complicated process has yet to be concluded, every indication is that Alexander will be returning to Nashville in the near future. We do not anticipate having any further update on this process until tomorrow, at the earliest.”
But others have been speaking. Radulov’s potential arrival in Nashville has already shaken some Western Conference teams who worry that the winger’s presence will make a rather good team much better, providing it with the pure goal-scorer it has lacked since, well, since Radulov jumped leagues and abandoned his contract for bigger loot in the KHL three years ago.