In July of 2008 Alex Radulov turned his back on the Nashville Predators, and the National Hockey League. The elite scoring, Russian Winger left for the newly formed KHL in his home country of Russia, however he was still under contract with the Preds. For obvious reasons this caused a fairly big uproar in Nashville and the IIHF, but ultimately there was nothing they could do and Radulov left, but here we are nearly 4 years later looking at a possible much anticipated return for Radulov.
Radulov has now confirmed that he would like to return to the Nashville Predators THIS season, which would burn off the final year of his Entry-Level contract, and make him an RFA in the summer. So I guess in a perfect world this whole situation would finally be resolved and Radulov would finally be a Predator again, he would help this underdog team to a Stanley Cup,and they'd live happily ever after but unfortunately for Nashville and Radulov,Salavat Yulaev (Radulovs KHL team) isn't big on fairytale endings. It's not that Salavat Yulaev is trying to stick it to Radulov, or the NHL, they just don't want to lose their rights to the KHL's alltime leading scorer, and as hard as it is to admit, that's fair. The only way Radulov can leave and S.Y. can retain his rights is if Alex leaves for the NHL in the fall, which isn't ideal for anyone. Another option would be if Radulov paid off 2/3's of his contract, but that's not likely to happen due to the millions of dollars it would cost him. Of course there's always the illegal option, which Radulov is oh so famous for, bolting, but I believe Radulov's agent has already shot down any chances of that happening, which in a way is a sign of relief, showing that Radulov has matured as a person and is ready to handle things the proper way.
Alex Radulov, and the KHL are set to sit down at some point and discuss the whole situation. I think it'll be interesting to see how the KHL handles this situation. They obviously want what's best for their teams, and players, but they appear to want some kind of a relationship with the NHL, so they could make some kind of an ''exception'' and allow Radulov to leave early, and Salavat Yulaev keep his rights. If the KHL truly wants a good relationship with the NHL this would be a good way to start mending their relationship.
The NHL,and NHLPA have already worked out an agreement which would allow Radulov to return to the NHL without having to clear waivers. This would be huge for a Nashville team that doesn't have any elite scoring talents, so if the KHL can somehow figure this out and let Radulov return, I think the Preds could become a serious contender for the Cup this season, however I will save this for my next segment of "The Saga of Alexander Radulov".
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