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The KHL provides more drama on the Radulov front…

After more than three and a half long years, it looks like the Nashville Predators will have to wait a little longer.

Per Yahoo! Sports’ Dmitry Chesnokov, Salavat Yulaev Ufa is refusing to let Alexander Radulov return to the NHL because, if they do so before April 20 (per league rules), his KHL rights will no longer belong to the club. Understandably, they want to keep his rights in case he ever returns to the league.

Chesnokov went on to report that this situation seems like a “dead end” now.

Make no mistake about it, both parties were motivated for Radulov to return. The Predators wanted Radulov back this season because the 25-year old gives them yet another weapon in what, they believe, could be a serious Stanley Cup run. Radulov wanted (actually, still wants) to come back because he has another year on his entry level contract at the cheap rate of $980,000 and, the second he steps on the ice, he fulfills that obligation and can play for veteran money.

In short, it would be a win-win for everyone involved.

The sniper defected to his native Russia in the summer of 2008 to become the face of the new Kontinental Hockey League. The reason he can’t just up and leave in the middle of a contract this time is because the NHL and KHL signed an agreement (along with the IIHF) that the two leagues would not poach each others players  while they’re under contract. Ironically, that agreement was reached because of Radulov leaving in the first place.

There may be more to come, however, so stay tuned.

We encourage you to use the #FreeRads hashtag on Twitter.

PHOTO CREDIT: Jameson Roper // Flickr (used with permission)


  1. taelor

    March 15, 2012 at 11:09 am

    Ok, so I’m kind of confused. I was under the impression that his contract was up at the end of this KHL season. Is he a UFA or RFA? What rights do they have to him?

    • Jeremy K. Gover

      March 15, 2012 at 11:21 am

      He has one year left on his KHL contract (next season) but he had a “gentleman’s agreement” with the league (and the club) that, if he wanted to leave after this season, it would be allowed. Apparently nobody paid attention to the possibility that he could leave after they were ousted from the playoffs. The KHL rules state that no player can be released before April 30 unless the club agrees to give up their rights. Obviously, Ufa would love to keep Radulov’s rights as he may return to the KHL someday.

    • AndrewSlemp

      March 15, 2012 at 11:30 am

       @taelor The problem is that the end of the season isn’t when their team is out it’s when the playoffs are over; hence the deadline of April 20th

      • taelor

        March 15, 2012 at 11:36 am

         @AndrewSlemp so they just want to hold the “rights” to him for the next month, but after that he’s free to walk? That’s what I am having a hard time trying to understand, how could Salavat Yulaev Ufa benefit from holding on to him? Can they trade him or anything?

        • sethdean

          March 15, 2012 at 12:39 pm

           @taelor It is his rights as a KHLer.  If Rads were to say play until 37 in the NHL and want to play in the KHL as a veteran role, UFA own his rights.  The rights are even more valuable to the club if he flops as an NHLer and decides to come back even sooner.  He is still an RFA to the Preds after his Entry Level Contract expires, regardless.  Two different statuses for two different leagues.

        • AndrewSlemp

          March 15, 2012 at 12:54 pm

           @sethdean  @taelor It’s all very confusing. He still has one year left on his KHL contract from what I understand but but if both Rad and his team agree to let him leave before the season is over he breaks his contract entirely and his KHL team will have no rights. If they wait till the end of the year of the KHL season April 30th, in some way form or fashion he’ll be still the rights of his KHL team (it’s too difficult to spell without the use of those characters). Confused yet? I am but trying to make sense of it all… 

        • taelor

          March 15, 2012 at 5:13 pm

           @AndrewSlemp OK, so I didn’t realize he had one year left on his contract in the KHL. I was under the impression that he had fulfilled all of his contractual duties in that league this year, and was going to be a KHL free agent this summer.
          Now that I know he has a year left it makes way more sense. If that is the case, then he should (and i hate saying this) stay in the KHL and fulfill his contractual duties.

      • AndrewSlemp

        March 15, 2012 at 12:54 pm

        It’s also 30th not 20th.

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