We may not have to wait much longer to find out where restricted free agent (and soon-to-be-former-Predator) Alexander Radulov will be playing next season.
CSKA Moscow from the KHL has shown great interest in signing Radulov. As it was reported by Yahoo! Puck Daddy’s Dmitry Chesnokov last week, CSKA acquired Radulov’s rights from Salavat Yulaev for a fee of $8 million.
Last week, Radulov’s North American agent, Jay Grossman, told Smashville 24/7 that there is “significant interest” in his client around the NHL, too. Grossman said he has been in contact with a handful of NHL teams ever since Predators GM David Poile announced on June 5 that the team was parting ways from Radulov.
Poile further confirmed that level of interest during Friday afternoon’s press conference.
“There have been a couple of teams that have called me; there’s been a few teams who have contacted (Grossman) directly,” said Poile, who gave Grossman permission to speak with other NHL teams. The New York Rangers have been heavily rumored to be interested in Radulov.
However, since the KHL’s signing period is already under way, CSKA is displaying urgency to get Radulov signed. If the Russian forward and his camp do not come to terms with an NHL team in the immediate future, it’s likely that Radulov will return to the KHL where he is a superstar and has won three consecutive MVP awards.
“I think if these [NHL] teams are interested, they are going to have to move pretty fast. I think if they don’t, he will sign in the KHL,” Poile said.
The most ideal scenario for the Predators would be to trade Radulov to another NHL team so they can get something in return – prospect(s), draft pick(s) or a combination of the two. With the NHL Draft less than a week away, Poile surely wouldn’t be opposed to stocking up more draft picks.
Poile added, “I think if Rads had some patience – which I’m not sure he does – but if he waited until the first week of July after [Zach] Parise gets signed, I think more teams would come knocking on his door. I don’t control that and I don’t control the timing.”
Radulov, who recently had successful knee surgery, tallied 13 points in 17 total games after returning to the Predators in late March.