Monday, March 19, 2012
Radulov heading to Predators?
By Pierre LeBrun
Alexander Radulov appears headed back to the Nashville Predators, although the NHL team itself was holding off confirmation until they saw the whites of his eyes.
Radulov's Russian agent Yuri Nikolaev was quoted in Russian newspapers Monday saying that the KHL had cleared the way for the player to join the Predators. While Radulov’s KHL season was over, his contract didn’t expire until April 30.
Predators GM David Poile wasn’t ready to claim victory just yet. Reached by ESPN.com at 10 a.m. ET, Poile said via text, "Still waiting."
Another source close to the situation told ESPN.com he believed Radulov was on a plane headed to Nashville.
The NHL announced last week that Radulov was cleared to rejoin the Preds without clearing NHL waivers and that he was eligible for the regular season and playoffs.
Radulov, if he joins the Preds as expected, will be allowed to burn off the final season of his NHL entry-level deal with the Predators. He owed them one last season after bolting to Russia in the summer of 2008 while still under contract with the Predators.
Radulov is a former MVP in the KHL and considered by some the best player in the world not in the NHL. The Preds are tied with Detroit for fourth place in the Western Conference.
UPDATE 2:20 p.m. ET
Comment from David Poile, through Predators PR:
“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.”
UPDATE 3:40 p.m. ET
A source told ESPN.com that Radulov was scheduled to leave Moscow for the U.S. on Tuesday.