John Glennon reports this afternoon on the informal discussions that Predators GM David Poile had with Alexander Radulov while in Switzerland for the World Championships. It doesn't sound like any particular progress was made in securing a return to the NHL, however:
Asked if Radulov expressed regret for leaving the Predators in a difficult situation last July, Poile paused before answering.
“I think he has a hard time understanding our position when somebody else was offering him an improved situation,’’ Poile said. “Just like I believe that if he wants to come back — regardless of the fact he signed a multiyear contract there — I don’t believe he thinks it’s a problem coming back.’’
Poile told Radulov that if he did return to Nashville, he’d still need to complete his final contracted season at a base salary of $984,000. Under the NHL’s collective bargaining agreement, teams cannot rework an entry-level deal. Radulov would become a restricted free agent when that deal expires.
“So that’s where we are,’’ Poile said. “It’s up to him to make the next move.’’
It's interesting to hear this take on Radulov's perspective; that he doesn't understand why the Predators were upset over his leaving the team last year, and that he doesn't think "it's a problem coming back." Maybe he never learned the definition of the word contract, either in English or Russian.
For Predators fans, Poile's parting comment is hardly encouraging news:
“I do (believe he wants to return) but having said that, maybe that’s in a year from now or a couple years from now. I don’t know.’’
In addition, the Tennessean has a slideshow of Radulov pictures from the World Championships. For the haters, there are a few shots of American defensemen taking him out, and for the fans, there are celebratory shots from his gold medal-winning exploits.