Radulov's impact on Predators

Updated: March 22, 2012, 11:34 AM ET
By Craig Custance

In a season that has the potential to turn into the best in franchise history, the Nashville Predators front office has masterfully handled each major decision as they've happened. They secured their franchise goalie for the next seven years, and if you think the $49 million price tag for Pekka Rinne was high, just imagine what a team like the Toronto Maple Leafs would have offered Rinne on July 1. With Ryan Suter's help, they defused trade rumors surrounding their franchise defenseman at the deadline and instead of dealing him they added significant talent in Paul Gaustad, Hal Gill and Andrei Kostitsyn.

And then came Alexander Radulov.

After a miserable summer and the questionable handling of the Shea Weber arbitration case, the momentum has completely turned in Nashville. In the short term, all eyes will be on the impact Radulov has on the ice and whether he can spark the kind of playoff run that will convince Weber and Suter to stay for years. So much of what David Poile has done this season has been colored by attempts to prove to those players that Nashville is a career destination, not just a beginning.