Skip to main content


Got any good books to recommend?

Greatest Hits from Working the Net:

Harlow Salon - one of the very best hair salons in Nashville TN.

Alexander Radulov, Heading Home to Mother Russia?

Just when you thought it was safe to go to sleep until hockey training camp opens in September, a curious story broke yesterday that has Alexander Radulov heading back to Russia to play for Salavat Yulaev, a team in the new CHL (Continental Hockey League) which is throwing money at past- and present-NHL stars to quickly gain status as a world-class hockey league. Just recently, Ray Emery and Wade Dubielewicz have headed East to further their careers, but Radulov would mark the first time that an up-and-coming player on the verge of NHL stardom threw that away for a move to Europe.

First of all, many thanks to emailer Mike for pointing this out to me, as Kukla's Korner ran the story as it initially appeared on AllHockey.RU, a Russian hockey website. As of yesterday, all we could use is something like the Google Translator to get a rough idea of what the original article stated, but today there are two articles to point to. Kukla's has a piece from Sport Express (English version), and AllHockey.RU has an interview (translated via Google) with Radulov that basically sounds like he had been hearing from this team since last summer, and while he enjoyed a successful 2007-8 season in Nashville, he's receiving a more lucrative offer to return to Mother Russia.

Radulov's NHL contract runs through the end of the upcoming season and would pay him just under $1 million. As a restricted free agent next summer, a solid campaign (30+ goals) this year would surely have netted him something north of $4 million per year in his next deal. The offer from Russia must be something special for A-Rad to throw away a chance at $30-40 million in guaranteed money that could be coming his way next year at this time.

If this indeed pans out, it is obviously a crushing blow to the Predators organization. Radulov represents the patient, build-through-the-draft approach that GM David Poile prefers, and appears primed to emerge as Nashville's top goal-scoring threat after a solid, 26-goal campaign in 2007-8. It would certainly open up a roster spot for prized Swedish prospect Jonas Hornqvist to play with the big club this fall, but a team that was mediocre offensively last season can ill afford to lose a game-breaking talent like Radulov. In terms of the CBA, the one thing I'd note here is that if he's still in Russia at the start of the NHL season, he'd have to clear waivers in order to rejoin Nashville, which basically means there'd be no chance we'd see him in Predators gear:
In the event a professional or former professional Player plays in a league outside
North America after the start of the NHL Regular Season, other than on Loan from his
Club, he may thereafter play in the NHL during that Playing Season (including Playoffs)
only if he has first either cleared or been obtained via Waivers.
Methinks that a bottom-dwelling team would jump at the chance to scoop up Radulov were he to decide in October or November that he'd rather return to the NHL. In other words, the clock is ticking for David Poile. If this mess isn't cleared up by October 1, the Predators will have lost a huge on-ice asset and fan favorite.

Serves me right, I guess, for sponsoring his page.

The obvious issue is how this all fits in with the talk from the last few days that the NHL and CHL are reaching agreement on respecting each others' contracts. This Radulov drama would appear to run completely counter to that storyline.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Popular posts from this blog

How I'm Trying To Make Money Sports Blogging

To kick off this series of articles general sports-blogging articles here at OTF Classic, I think it's best to start with a comment that Brad left here last week, after I shared my goals for 2012, which include specific revenue targets:
I considered diving into the world of internet marketing myself, but I felt that my friends would hate me for bugging them about stuff. I mean, it's pretty low-risk high-reward, so it's tempting. I wouldn't mind reading about tips on how to maximize impact of blogging in general to make it a legitimate income source. Trying to make money at sports blogging can be a very touchy subject - for the vast majority of us, this is an activity we pursue to both exercise our creativity and share our love of the game, whether it's hockey, football, badminton, whatever, with fellow fans. Mixing that personal conversation with a commercial message can turn people off, especially if it becomes too intrusive for the reader.

It's not unreasonabl…

Hooray for PythagenPuck

Back in November, around the quarter-mark of the NHL regular season, I wrote a piece looking at Expected Winning Percentages for each team, based on their Goals For/Goals Against ratio, using the PythagenPuck method as outlined in Alan Ryder's "Win Probabilities" article over at Hockey Analytics. Since we're approaching the end of the campaign, I thought it worth revisiting the two assertions I made back in November - that the Ottawa Senators were capable of getting back into the playoff race, and that the Boston Bruins were in danger of a freefall to the bottom of the standings.

Just to review, the basic idea behind win probability models like PythagenPuck is that over the course of a season, the Goals For and Goals Against numbers can be used to derive a team's winning percentage, within a a surprisingly narrow margin of error. For instance, if you only had GF/GA information, you could make a very good stab at projecting what the standings would look like. The w…

Where are my tickets, Mr. Holland?

While working on a piece about the 10th anniversary of the great Colorado/Detroit game at Joe Louis Arena, I caught myself reflecting on some of the great games I've had the fortune of seeing in Detroit during the 1990's, through a variety of means. Then another thing came to mind - when I'm in attendance, the Red Wings win. I'm on a huge personal winning streak here, so perhaps the Red Wings front office would want to bolster their chances during the upcoming playoffs and make sure I'm in the house for those critical games? I can make myself available...

June 4, 1995: Detroit takes Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals from Chicago, 3-2 (although the Hawks put one of the goalpost as the final horn sounds). Wow, has it been that long since the Blackhawks achieved anything? Ticket courtesy of a college buddy who had a spare.

October 13, 1995: The Wings pummel the Edmonton Oilers in their home opener, 9-0. After the painful Finals sweep against New Jersey the…