Thursday afternoon notes: TSN's Bob McKenzie stirs up Radulov return talk

The hot topic people have been chatting about the last few days is whether or not Alexander Radulov might return to Nashville once his KHL team is done with their playoffs. Currently, Salavat Yulaev is down 3-2 to Ak Bars Kazan, with Game 6 coming up tomorrow.

The Predators have said that Radulov could return to the team without any issue, even to just play a game or two during the regular season, and that would satisfy the remaining year of his contract. Looking at the CBA, however, the usual case for a guy coming back from Europe requires waivers, allowing any other team to claim him (much like how the Predators acquired Marek Svatos last season). I've been looking for outside confirmation on this matter before getting my hopes up, at the risk of offending those for whom "Poile says so" is proof enough.

This afternoon, TSN's Bob McKenzie gave us something leaning in that direction:

Hopefully, he'll follow up with a more detailed report, because this is a pretty unusual situation. The "subject to NHLPA approval" bit is the really interesting part, because that would seem to imply that an exception to the normal procedure is contemplated.

Of course, this doesn't speak to what Radulov's intentions are, so the cart is getting waaaaay in front of the horse here. All the same, you can expect this chatter to escalate if Salavat Yulaev gets bounced out of the KHL playoffs tomorrow morning.

And now, finally, on to your afternoon hockey notes...

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Nashville Predators News

Desperados | Predators AJenda
AJ proclaims now as the time that the Preds need to get into playoff mode.

Inside scoop on Preds puck stopper Pekka Rinne - NHL.com
It sounds like Peks needs to hit the band stage during intermission the next time Anders gets the start...

Anders and the Proving Ground - "It's March, folks!" - Predlines
An astute observation here from Dan. This month could prove to be a critical one for Anders Lindback's career.

Around the Wide Wide World of Hockey

I’ll stop calling you a dick if you stop talking to me like I’m an idiot: making friends with advanced stats geeks " The Active Stick
This one deserves a standing ovation.

Well, He Still Knows How To Skate, So That's Good - Second City Hockey
in Chicago, they're hoping that Jonathan Toews can return to the lineup soon.

Tonight’s Columbus Blue Jackets’ promotion is a well-timed shot at Jeff Carter | Backhand Shelf
Kudos to the Blue Jackets for coming up with a clever way to respond to Carter's return with the Kings.

Driving Play: Has Ilya Kovalchuk Changed For The Better?
Triumph looks at whether Kovalchuk is indeed "driving play" more successfully for the Devils.

Sports Radio Interviews " Peter Laviolette defends Ilya Bryzgalov; explains how bounties translate to hockey
The Flyers coach responds to a question about whether the NFL's bounty scandal applies to the NHL.

Top 10 Worst Mike Milbury Trades, Contracts, and Transactions - The Hockey Writers
This kind of stuff is always good for a laugh.

Did taking out the red line make the NHL dumber, more dangerous? | Puck Daddy
I think some GM's need to be examined for concussions. The argument that bringing the red line back in would lead to increased offense is ABSURD. If that were true, coaches would already tell their teams not to stretch the D and attempt long passes.

Referees on pace to call 200 fewer hooking penalties and 100 fewer holding penalties this season | Backhand Shelf
I'd like to see a multi-year comparison so we get an idea of how much these things fluctuate from year to year, but the implication here isn't cool at all.

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