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Friday's notes: Going mad for A-Rad

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A seemingly innocuous comment by David Poile a couple days ago has spread like wildfire over the last 48 hours, fueling speculation about a possible return to Nashville for Alexander Radulov. During the team's season-ending press conference, Poile recounted a conversation that assistant GM Paul Fenton had with Radulov at the World Championships, wherein Fenton floated the notion of trading Radulov's rights to another team, after which Radulov said no, he'd rather play in Nashville.

That then got picked up in the Russian press as an actual quote from Radulov that he wanted to return to Nashville, and things lifted off from there. Nobody's saying anything substantive on that front, however. Radulov's North American agent, Jay Grossman, has no comment on the matter, so until we see something actually occur, it's best not to get too excited over this. 

Following the jump, however, we do have an interesting report about a situation which might (and I emphasize might) lead to just such a return.

While reading the morning links, make sure to listen in as Pete Weber joined Hockey Night In Canada Radio yesterday:

Pete Weber on HNIC Radio 20110511 (MP3)

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Nashville Predators News

How KHL money issues will send Alex Radulov back to NHL - Puck Daddy
Interesting speculation from Dmitry Chesnokov, that financial difficulties may lead Salavat Yulaev to part ways with Alexander Radulov, freeing him up to return to Nashville. Something similar happened with Jiri Hudler last summer. Forbes reported that last year, the "charitable" foundation which provides most of the team's funding gave Salavat Yulaev $93 million, so we'll have to see just how significant these cuts are, and whether that forces their hand with Radulov. Read that Forbes report, and check out how much of that money went to the team's general director. Let's just say that the KHL is, well, quite different from the NHL.

Francis Bouillon: a exit interview | Section 303
I feel much cooler knowing that I wear the same kind of hat that The Cube does.

Will UFA Joel Ward Return To Smashville? - Predlines
That tremendous playoff run could result in a team coming in with a sweetheart offer.

Shane O’Brien hopes a new contract will bring him stability - Nashville Predators Examiner
The Mighty SOB has likely earned himself a steady job somewhere else in the league with his solid work this year. He really stabilized the Nashville PK unit, which was awful in 2009-10.

Steve Sullivan faces uncertain future with the Nashville Predators - Nashville Predators Examiner
Understatement Of The Year candidate #3.

2010-2011 Admirals Season Wrap: The Best Moments | Admirals Roundtable
Down here in Nashville it's hard to follow the twists and turns of the AHL season, so Jason brings us the highlights.

So…..Now What Do We Do? | Admirals Roundtable
Ryan ponders the future for the Milwaukee Admirals.

Improved playoff performance will benefit Predators ... eventually | Nashville City Paper
Barry Trotz says this spring's experience will help them in future playoff runs.

Assistant coaching situations - Predators Insider
Josh Cooper updates on the situation with Peter Horachek and Mitch Korn.

Nashville Predators' Joel Ward can expect nice raise in free agency - The Tennessean
The biggest factor is that one shouldn't overweight Ward's playoff performance relative to his regular season. He's a useful player, but he is quite limited in terms of offensive contribution. There is the danger that some other team will make a big offer, though.

Around the NHL

San Jose triumphs over Detroit in Game Seven with a 3-2 win, advance to the Western Conference Finals - Fear The Fin
What a doozy that game was, setting up a #1 vs. #2 battle for the Clarence Campbell Bowl, as the Sharks will face the Canucks.

NHL Eastern Conference Finals Preview: Boston Bruins vs. Tampa Bay Lightning - Stanley Cup of Chowder
Here's a Boston-based preview of the East Final, I'll have my own look later.

Report: Philadelphia Flyers to Host NY Rangers in 2012 NHL Winter Classic - Broad Street Hockey
No big surprise here.

Is NHL abandoning Thrashers, Atlanta after rescuing others? - Jeff Schultz
The "gotcha" moment here is where Bill Daly says he can't guarantee that the Trashers will play in Atlanta this fall. The problem is, nobody with the NHL is going to say anything definitive until a deal is done, either locally or somewhere else. This doesn't really tell us much, but boy are people getting worked up.

IIHF Worlds: Semifinals Day Open Thread - Puck Worlds
We're getting down to the final four, with the Czechs facing the Swedes, and Finland battling Russia.

Nicholson: Two years without medal at hockey worlds ‘totally unacceptable’ - The Globe and Mail
Russia bounced Canada at the World Championships, and the president of Hockey Canada blamed it, in part, on some young players opting out of the tournament.

Canucks making memories - The Globe and Mail
Vancouver's been in the league 40 years, and has a chance to make their 3rd Stanley Cup Final. Anticipation (and pressure) is building in the Pacific Northwest.

The Clock Has Run Out for Some Sabres in Blue and Gold | The Hockey Writers
Are there any Buffalo free agents that David Poile should seriously consider?

STLToday Video: The Blues Monday Night Miracle
25 years ago, the St. Louis Blues had perhaps the greatest comeback in their franchises history. Fun Fact: back in my college days at Michigan, we used to have spirited street hockey games behind South Quad, wherein folks would choose players they'd be emulating. My pick? Lee Norwood.

Remembering "Donnie Mac" - Canes Country
Sad news out of Carolina, where the building superintendent at RBC Center (the man responsible for the ice, etc.) passed away at age 52.

Dynamic Pricing with Barry Kahn, CEO of Qcue | The Business of Sports
An interview with the leader of the firm which worked with the Preds this season to help maximize ticket revenue.