Alexander Radulov will not return to the Nashville Predators for the 2009-10 season.
General manager David Poile said despite the efforts of the team and the National Hockey League — not to mention what he believes are the players wishes — the 2004 first-round draft choice will remain in Russia’s Continental Hockey League (KHL) for another year.
“I talked to Jay Grossman, (Radulov’s) agent, a few times (Wednesday), Poile said. “… He’s not coming back.”
Radulov had one season remaining on his contract with the Predators when he signed with the upstart KHL last summer. The decision further strained relations between the NHL and the Russian hockey federation, which have no transfer agreement between them.
Poile has had extensive talks with Grossman in recent weeks. In May, he also met with Radulov personally at the World Championships in an effort to bring about a resolution.
“We had really good talks when I was over in Switzerland at the World Championships,” Poile said. “I know he wants to come back. He can’t get out of his contract. You’re going to have to interpret how he can walk away from our contract and why he can’t walk away from their contract.”
Radulov’s NHL contract has been suspended, which means that when (if) he returns to the NHL he still will owe Nashville one season.
In 145 games for the Predators during the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons he had 95 points (44 goals, 51 assists). His 18 goals and 37 points in 2006-07 were franchise rookie records.