After weeks of rampant speculation, it appears Alexander Radulov is finally free.
The Prodigal Predator is set to return to the NHL, according to a report from Slava Malamud:
Radulov and Salavat appear to have reached a deal allowing A-Rad to leave for Nashville now. Salavat to keep his KHL rights (Sport-Express)
Sport-Express reports Radulov's talks w/ KHL, Salavat are over. He'll fly to Ufa tomorrow, most likely leave for Nashville later this week.
It appears the only question now is not if, but when Radulov will make his much-anticipated return to the Predator lineup. It doesn't seem like he could be back in time for Tuesday's home game against the Oilers. Could we potentially peg Saturday night against the Jets as a realistic return point? It would appear so.
Let's hear your reaction. Where does he fit in the lineup? Is this the spark the Predators need after a couple of lackluster performances?
Here's the original article, run through Google translate:
According to forecasts, "SE" in the coming days, Alexander Radulov, most likely, will have the opportunity to go to the NHL, "Nashville Predators". On Monday, the 25-year-old hockey player from Moscow, where he underwent medical examination, will fly to Ufa, where the loser playoffs NHL "Salavat" resume training.
After the probable departure of the "Nashville" last year of the contract overseas players will burn at the same time, according to our information, the rights to Radulov in the CHL will continue to "Salavat Yulaev". Recall that with this club the best scorer of the regular season was signed until the summer of 2013. (Igor Larin)
Josh Cooper talked to Barry Trotz after the game about the report and it appears Trotz thinks Radulov could be back this week:
"I was informed when we came off the ice about that," Coach Barry Trotz said after the Predators beat the Ducks here on Sunday. "And if that's the case I think that's probably pretty clear, I felt very confident he was coming over, that it just sounded like there was sort of a release problem.
"I know David talked to his agent and his agent said he was planning to make his way to Nashville, and it was the release that was holding him up. That's why he stayed the extra couple of days. He was planning to get on the plane Friday, from what I understand and he couldn't work out the release."
Update #2 (Dirk):
Russian reporter Pavel Lysenkov adds to the confirmations this morning:
Yuri Nikolayev, the agent Radulov, told me right now: "Yes, he's leaving." Expect to see Radu in Thurs game vs Pens. #Preds— Pavel Lysenkov (@plysenkov) March 19, 2012