Preds await end to 'complicated process’ of Radulov’s return

Monday, March 19, 2012 at 3:08pm

The Nashville Predators confirmed Monday afternoon that they expect forward Alexander Radulov to rejoin the team in the near future. Exactly when, however, they could not say.

Multiple reports out of Russia on Monday confirmed that Radulov, who had one year remaining on his contract with the Predators when he left in 2008 to play in Russia, had negotiated an exit from the Kontinental Hockey League and planned to rejoin Nashville for the remainder of the season and the playoffs.

“We have been in contact with Jay Grossman, Alexander’s agent, throughout this process of trying to return Alexander to the Predators and the NHL,” general manager David Poile said in a statement released by the team. “Though the complicated process has yet to be concluded, every indication is that Alexander will be returning to Nashville in the near future.

“We do not anticipate having any further update on this process until [Tuesday], at the earliest.”

The Predators play four games this week beginning Tuesday at home against Edmonton. They play at Pittsburgh on Thursday before back-to-back games Saturday at home against Winnipeg and Sunday at Chicago.

They currently are fourth in the Western Conference standings based on a tiebreaker with Detroit and are one of nine teams in the league with at least 200 goals scored.

Radulov, 25, had 63 points (25 goals, 38 assists) in 50 games this season in the KHL, which ended its regular season on Feb. 27. His team was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs and he immediately began to pursue a return to the NHL.

Nashville’s first-round draft pick in 2004, he had 95 points in 145 NHL games over two seasons with the Predators.

Poile has said he considers Radulov “the best player not playing in the NHL.”

Not for long.