Nobody is surprised to see winger Alexander Radulov return to the safety of the KHL after his disappointing return to the NHL.
He resurfaced with the Nashville Predators long enough let down that franchise with a playoff curfew violation. The resulting distraction helped tank the Preds against the Coyotes.
The Predators didn’t try to re-sign Radulov as a restricted free agent. The team hoped to deal his rights to a team willing to sign the Russian forward, but he returned to the KHL before that market materialized.
His exit further weakened the coming free agent market for forwards. He could have become the most attractive Plan B behind Zach Parise for teams seeking to add offense.
The Radulov camp cited the possible NHL lockout for his return to Russia, but the lack of interest from other NHL teams had to influence the move as well. Although Radulov has year left on his KHL deal, he could command epic money from the CSKA on a long-term arrangement.