Thursday, 22 March 2012

Alexandre Radulov: Desperate Times Call For Desperate Measures

Fittingly it was kind of like an old time country song when Alexander Radulov done the Nashville Predators wrong by walking away from his contract, packing his bags and making a bee-line back to his native land to play in the KHL nearly four years ago.

The Predator`s 15th overall pick in`the 2004 draft Radulov isn't exactly an Evgeni Malkin but by many he is arguably considered the best player outside North America.  Alexander is the KHL's all-time leading scorer with 254 points and also holds league records for most career assists (163), plus-minus (98), and points in a single KHL season with 80.  In 2010 he was awarded the Golden Stick Award (KHL's version of the Hart Memorial Trophy) for his outstanding play on the ice and in 2011 Radulov would lead Salavat Yulaev Ufa to capture the Gagarin Cup (KHL's version of the Stanley Cup).

In the Predator's pursuit for a pllayoff position, they've buried the hatchet with Radulov - allowing the right winger to play out the remainder of his NHL.

Although Radulov`s current NHL numbers (44G 95Pts 145GP) aren`t as respectable as his KHL tally he will definitely help fill an offensive void in Nashville`s lineup - currently the team has three forwards in the top 100 in scoring, Martin Erat leads the team with 55 points ranking him in at the No. 46 position.

What Radulov will decide to do once the season comes to an end and his contract expires is still in question.  Many predict he will head back to the KHL and continue his career there - NHL GM`s hold hope that he will stay in North America as a UFA.

The fate of Radulov will tell in time - as of now he`s here and lacing them up with the Preds, anamosity aside.  Alex makes his return to the NHL tonight against the Pittsburgh Penguins who hope to extinguish the Radulov hype and clinch a playoff berth.

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